Evans High School students saw first-hand the consequences of driving while intoxicated or texting during the Ghost Out.
The event is a simulated wreck aimed at discouraging intoxicated or distracted driving just before the school prom Saturday.
“The thing is, it works,” Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan said. “You’re dissuading some of them. ... Because it is very dramatic in its nature, it is going to sink in a lot faster to these teenagers. Just talking to teenagers is not enough.”
The school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions club organized the event that featured a morning or educational sessions and live demonstrations such as a rollover simulator, field sobriety tests and a cone course for students to drive on a golf cart while wearing goggles that simulate drunken driving.
After a mock wreck caused by a teen drunk driver, emergency responders – including Gold Cross Emergency Medical Service, Columbia County Fire Rescue and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office – rushed to the scene to extricate survivors. A Gold Cross helicopter airlifted a student portraying a seriously-injured victim .
The Grim Reaper hovered around a teen who didn’t survive after being thrown through the windshield as the coroner loaded her into a waiting hearse.
“We want to try to give them as many images of the dangers of drinking and driving as possible,” said Furman Davis, the teacher advisor for the school SADD club.
The school normally puts on some kind of mock crash during prom season. This year, the event included a funeral for the dead teen and a trial, officiated by Flanagan, for the intoxicated teen driver.