St. Martin High the scene of mock fatal accident - - The News for South Mississippi

St. Martin High the scene of mock fatal accident


By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) – "Oh, my God!  It's Melissa!" a student screamed as she ran over to a smashed car.

The football field at St. Martin High School became the scene of a mock accident Monday morning.  It was a terrible car crash no teenager ever wants to witness, especially when it involves someone they know.        

"That's Geno and Monteva and Barlow," the student shouted as she recognized the faces in the cars.

Several St. Martin High students portrayed victims who sat in their crumpled cars, bloodied and motionless, after the DUI accident. 

Sheriff's deputies, firefighters, ambulances, even a helicopter rushed to the football field to help. The emergency crews worked frantically to free the trapped victims.

One student, Melissa Schikowski-Broom, died from internal bleeding and massive head injuries.  It was actually Melissa's idea to bring the Prom Program to her school.  Saturday is prom night at St. Martin High School.

"I've lost a few friends in the past because of drunk driving, and I don't want that to happen this year," said Schikowski-Broom. "I started crying. To think that this actually could happen at any time to people we know and love, it's awful."

And that was why everyone involved in the dramatic drill kept it a secret.   

"I wanted it to be personal to them," said Pamela Waters, a volunteer at the Latimer Fire Department.  "I wanted them to think about you're in class, 'Oh your hair stinks,' and you walk away, and the next thing you know, that person is dead."

Waters helped organize the program.  She was working on a college project, looking at ways to reduce risks in her community. When she contacted the Jackson County Sheriff's Department for information, she learned about the Prom Promise Program.  So she coordinated with the school and various agencies to put the program together.

"I had a friend of mine, a best friend, that went across the railroad tracks in Biloxi and was killed by a train our senior year. So it's kind of personal," said Waters.

The scary scenario ended with a senior who was arrested and charged with multiple counts, including vehicular manslaughter.

"We have a lot of friends that we all care about a lot and to see something like this happen, it just blows you away. I hope everybody will be safe, and it hits close to home on this one," said senior Nick Rosetti.

"It shows us what can happen to your friends and how scary it is.  Wear your seat belt.  Just be really careful.  You don't want to lose your friends," said senior Chelby Cannette.

After the program, the students filled out an evaluation form. They answered questions like:  Were you thinking about having alcohol during prom?  Did the program change your views about drinking and driving?  And would you like to see this program again?

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