EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 18, 2013

Mock drunken-driving accident attempts to scare Andover High students on eve of prom

By Bill Kirk

---- — ANDOVER — Police were called to the high school yesterday on a report of a gruesome accident in the parking lot next to the Collins Center.

As about 920 juniors and seniors looked on, a dozen or so actors from the high school’s improvisation classes were treated by Andover Fire Department EMTs, who rushed to the scene in ambulances and fire trucks.

One student actor was lying on the ground in a puddle of fake blood, after having been “ejected” from one of the two, previously smashed up cars. Once she’d been assessed — and determined to be “deceased” — she was covered with a white sheet and later taken away in a hearse.

Police, meanwhile, also converged on the scene. The driver of one of the cars was given a sobriety test which he appeared to fail, as he tried unsuccessfully to stand on one leg or walk in a straight line.

Faculty members Holly Breen and Candace McVeigh, advisers to Students Against Destructive Decisions, or SADD, put the mock accident together as a way of showing students what can happen.

“It helps them understand the dangers of drinking and driving,” Breen said. “We’re trying to keep them safe for the prom and graduation season. They can see what happens if they don’t make the best decisions.”

Students standing on the hillside overlooking the crash scene were impressed by what they saw.

“It makes you realize what can happen,” said Michael, 17, a junior.

His friend, also a junior, agreed. “It makes you think twice about making stupid decisions,” said Jack, 17.

Charles Heseltine, 18, a senior, thought the portrayal was “pretty effective. Not many people here have been involved in drinking and driving accidents, which is good. But you hear stories all the time. Hopefully this scares people enough not to do it.”