Staff Writer

SHTABULA TOWNSHIP - - Four students covered in fake blood sitting in two wrecked cars in the school's parking lot helped to send the message to fellow students not to drink and drive.

Junior and seniors at Edgewood Senior High School saw what it could be like if involved in an automobile crash May 11.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OHP) and Ashtabula Township Fire Department conducted a mock crash in conjunction with the school's Prom Promise sponsored by Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD). Edgewood's junior/senior prom was Saturday.

Julie Smialowski, social studies teacher and SADD Club adviser, said she thought the mock crash would be more effective in getting the message across about drinking and driving.

Last in the day, the students were signing the Prom Promise Pledge not to drink and drive, she said. Before the presentation got started OHP Trooper David Robison spoke to students.

"You sure don't want us knocking on your parent's door this weekend," Robison said.

To have to identify body parts of a child is a parents greatest nightmare, he said.

"We don't want you to be a statistic," Robison said. "And you taken to the coroner in a body bag."

To help with the simulation seniors Nick Cusano, Jill Moga, Jackie Kohl and Reena Case acted as crash victims. The students sat in the cars covered in blood as two other students, senior Brittany Sullivan and junior Lori Zetlaw were the first on the scene of the crash.

"How long do you think 10 to 15 minutes is?" Robison asked. "Think about how long you'd be waiting until you get help."

Junior Jessica Farina stood a few feet from her classmates in the vehicles.

"I think it's scary to know this could really happen," Farina said.

Farina's dad, Dennis, was in a serious automobile crash and in a coma for six months, she said. He did make a full recovery.

"You don't think at our age about stuff like this," Farina said. "This is serious. I think this will shock a lot of people, but I don't think it hit everyone. I won't hit some until it actually happens to one of us."

Another junior, T.J. Sarbiewski, thought the mock crash was good.

"They should do it (mock crash) more often to get the message across," he said.

The crash simulation was to be done in real time, he said. Life Flight also was supposed to come to the mock crash. However, the skies opened and a downpour of rain ended the mock crash just as the fire department was going to show the students how they would get victims out of a crash vehicle.

Students at Pymatuning Valley and Grand Valley high schools also saw mock crash simulations this year, Robison said.

The vehicles for the mock crash were donated by Budget Auto Parts and towed to the school by ABS Towing.

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