Gautier High students get graphic DUI reminder before prom - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gautier High students get graphic DUI reminder before prom

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GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) -

Gautier High School students are gearing up for prom Saturday night. Before school let out on Friday, hundreds of juniors and seniors got a graphic reminder of the dangerous and consequences of drinking and driving.

"Not my baby! Why? Why?" a woman screamed as she saw a young man lying on the ground.

It was a scene no parent ever wants to see for real.

"There are bodies all over the place," a witness told the 911 dispatcher.

In the mock DUI crash, two cars collided head-on while a third vehicle flipped right in front of Gautier High School. Students played the roles of the victims.

"My arm," one girl screamed as she looked at the shards of glass on her body.

"It kind of gets emotional. When we were getting ready for this, I started crying. It really touches you," said Drake Russell, a Gautier High senior who portrayed the drunk driver.

As police and other emergency crews rushed to the campus, they immediately saw crushed cars, bodies ejected and survivors groaning in agony.

"It seems so real. It was kind of devastating to see some of my classmates that I know there bleeding, dead," said Gautier High junior Luke Miller.

Driver's education students teamed up with the theatre department to put on the graphic production on the eve of their high school prom.

"I fear that they could be ignorant and drink and drive, or other people could drink and drive and it could affect them, even if they're innocent themselves," said Gautier High senior Alexis Thibodeaux.

"One thing I want people when they see this is this isn't something you want happen to you. You don't want to lose some of your classmates over something stupid like this," said Drake.

Many students were deeply moved as they watched the chaos unfold and witnessed three teens being taken away in body bags.

"It's shocking. You hear people saying ‘don't drink and drive', but you don't actually think about what it really does until you see something like this. You realize these are people's lives," said Gautier High junior Dillon Long. "You see the actors are your friends and so it kind of puts it into perspective that it can happen."

Everyone involved in the drunken driving lesson wanted students to leave prom with happy memories, not painful ones.

"We just want them to make smart decisions and do what's right and pay attention to the road this weekend," said Alexis.

"I'm definitely not going to be drinking, or drinking and driving. I'm definitely going to be a lot more careful on the streets, being aware of who's driving," said Luke.

Before the mock crash, a student portraying the grim reaper removed some students from class. Those students represented the "walking dead." They couldn't talk all day and had their names placed on tombstones to remind their classmates how lives could be lost in DUI tragedies.

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