PERKINSTON, MS (WLOX) - Two Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston athletes are still recovering after police say a drunk driver hit them just a few weeks ago. The 23-year-old driver of the other car, who investigators say had been drinking, died in the accident.
This tragedy hit very close to home on the MGCCC campus and sparked one student to organize a mock DUI accident just days before Spring Break.
Over the microphone in font of students, a police officer acted as if he was calling 911.
"There are several people involved, blood everywhere," he said.
Less than two minutes later, police and firefighters pulled up to see a head on accident where several students were hanging out of the car, covered in blood.
"We see it all the time and it wears on you," Cameron Harrington said.
Harrington is a firefighter and a student at MGCCC. He put together the event because he wanted his fellow students to see the horrible effects of drinking and driving that he's had to endure.
"I'm hoping people won't drink and drive," Harrington said.
Right away, first responders began checking pulses and trying to get the living victims out of the wreckage.
"Unfortunately, it happens more often than they realize, and this is a great educational opportunity to show the kids," Wiggins Fire Chief Jody Hatten said. "A car crash is nothing to play with and it affects many, many lives."
Actors playing family members of the victims ran up to the cars and started screaming; officers had to ask them to stand back. Medics began first aid right away trying to save lives. Several victims went into ambulances, but for others, the best chance of survival was a life flight.
"It was scary because I would never want to see something actually happen like that to them at all," MGCCC student Curt Loveless said.
Students watched in horror as some of their other colleagues were put in body bags and then a hearse.
"It looked very surreal; I was very surprised," Freshman Joshua Palm said. "I hope they got the same message I got. I hope they won't even think about doing it, never dream about doing it."
MGCCC Chief of Police Greg Hartley said, "If it makes one student think before they get behind the wheel, we think we have done our job."
Luckily, this time it was only a drill and everyone survived.