GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Students say it was like a scene from a movie…or, worse, a real-life accident.
Friday, Gautier High School and city first responders pulled out all the bells, whistles, and sirens to create a mock accident for the students.
Just a week before the school prom, it was a timely lesson against drunk and distracted driving.
One by one, students were taken each as a mock victim.
Victoria Culpepper and her Allied Health Program team are certified in CPR and first aid. But in this scenario, they couldn't save them.
"A lesson we're learning is that it shows us the consequences of our actions," she said. "I've learned to be more responsible with the things I do in my life because it can impact others."
In this exercise, obituaries were read to the classes. The dead were buried, and their spirits doomed to walk the halls without speaking. Then they stood by at the accident scene wondering who would join them next.
Senior Winston Roberts is the event director and coordinator.
"It's just so realistic that one person's mistake could ruin so many lives. It doesn't seem real. But watching it happen on your own campus, it's really life-changing for sure."
Avery Elbin, a senior and daughter of Gautier Police Chief Dante Elbin, was a participant and was chosen to be life-flighted from the scene.
"Your daily actions, especially those on the road, can affect not only you but others severely, even if you come out not hurt or anything," she said. "It's people's lives out there."
Not all the victims are physically hurt. But the emotional damage can last a lifetime.
Teacher sponsor Eric Thompson says it was a joint effort by several departments.
"If we have one group that changes their plans before prom," he said, "then doing something like this is worth it."
The last time the school created the mock accident was four years ago.
This year's Gautier High School prom is March 17.