Sam Houston students participate in mock crash - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sam Houston students participate in mock crash

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MOSS BLUFF, LA (KPLC) -

According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, 18 people between the ages of 15 and 20 were killed in alcohol related crashes in 2013.

Students at Sam Houston High School participated in a "mock crash" Thursday, with the hope of lowering the number of alcohol related crashes in 2014, especially with prom just days away for the school.

Juniors and seniors participated in the staged scenario, which aimed to demonstrate the real-life effects of impaired driving. First responders, including Louisiana State Police and Acadian personnel, also participated.

In the staged scenario, a driver was impaired due to drinking, and he caused a head-on collision with another vehicle. The "collision" killed one teenager and left everyone involved with serious injuries.

Even though the scenario was fake, the response effort was real: airmed transporting an injured passenger and fire crews working to extract and brace those involved in the crash. Even a hearse was on hand.

"It kind of makes it real," said Alexis Arceneaux, a Sam Houston senior. "It shows you this is what happens if that really happened to you.  It shows you the cops, the ambulances, everything like that would be what happened. Yea, it's fake but that's real."

"It was kind of freaky for me to be doing it," said Dakota Jorreau, a Sam Houston Junior who portrayed the drunk driver in the crash. "Sitting on the side of the car and the police officer coming up to me and telling me to cross my legs and then getting arrested, even though I know it wasn't real, it was still kind of scary to do."

Students said they hope everyone takes the consequences seriously.

"You don't know how everybody will take it if they're mature enough to realize that this is what happens in real life so you can only hope that they got the most out of this experience," said Fallon Bernard, a Sam Houston junior.

"Everything can be avoided and I was the drunk driver so I guess I was the cause of everything and it can definitely be avoided 100 percent and it's not difficult to do," added Jorreau.

Officials say that impaired driving doesn't only include alcohol. A driver can become impaired while texting and talking while driving or by being distracted in general.

The best bet is to stay focused on the road at all times.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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