VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - A head-on collision involving two cars filled with high school students on the way to prom. The cause? A drunk driver.
It's a reenactment Vancleave High School administrators and law enforcement hope will make students think twice.
"This is realistic. As you watch the students, some in tears, they really responded to it," said Deputy Linda Jones, Vancleave High School's resource officer and the main coordinator of the demonstration.
Students watched as emergency crews worked the accident scene. Their peers sit in the crashed cars. Some are bloodied and motionless during the mock DUI accident.
"You kind of hear people say don't drink and drive all the time, and people always encourage you not to do stupid things. That moment when I saw the helicopter come in, it really can just touch you," said junior Brent Shows.
The mock exercise ends with one student dead, multiple with long term injuries and a senior arrested and charged with multiple counts, including vehicular manslaughter.
"It was designed, hopefully, to keep our students from drinking at prom or graduation," said Jones.
Michelle Iler's son Josh is heading to prom this weekend, and the scene hit close to home. Iler lost a son in 2014 because of a drunk driver. She hopes her testimony will help her son and his peers make good decisions.
"We've lived every day since then trying to make the best of a bad situation, trying to learn to forgive people who make bad choices and trying to educate others so they don't make those choices," said Iler.
After the graphic demonstration, students and officials alike say they hope everyone got the message.