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Mock crash sends message to teens: This could happen to you

SOUTH POINT — The blood wasn’t real, but it could have been. And those ugly blue bruises on the face of Symmes Valley High student Justin Payne were only zinc oxide and colored face powder.

Nothing about the scenario of the mock car crash that took place on the parking lot of South Point High School Thursday morning was real.

But it could have been because it happens over and over again with deadly conclusions.

Getting that message out to teens was the purpose of “Shattered Dreams,” a re-creation of the aftermath of a fatal car accident that happens simply because a teen driver chose to drink and do drugs then get behind the wheel of a car.

Playing the three teen roles in the mock crash were Symmes Valley High student Hunter Boggs who portrayed the drunk driver; Payne, a friend who suffers a fatal head trauma, and Lindsay Dickess from Rock Hill High, another friend who is killed at the scene when she is flung through the car’s windshield.

“This is better than just words,” Payne said.

Showing the teens what their real life roles would be at such a scene were Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department, SEOEMS paramedics, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Hall Funeral Home.

Doing the dramatic face painting on Payne was Ronda Brown, a trauma nurse at St. Mary’s Medical Center, the organizer of the assembly.

“We try to be pretty graphic,” Brown said. “We don’t want to sugarcoat it. This affects their lives. Getting behind the wheel of a car is the most serious thing they can do.”

As a trauma nurse for 11 years, Brown has seen the fatal consequences of teen-age drinking and driving.

“I know what it is like to take a parent into a room to say goodbye to their child,” she said. “It’s devastating.”

This was the fifth time for Dee DeLancey, WOWK-TV reporter, to give a running narration of the crash as the law enforcement and medical professionals go through their paces.

As the father of teen-agers DeLancey says the mock crash has impact on young people.

“This is as effective short of taking them in a car to an actual scene,” DeLancey said. “If you impact the life of one person and get them to pick up the phone to call Mom and Dad (if they’re impaired). Get them to stop and think about calling someone. It is our responsibility to do this.”

Joining DeLancey in the narration was Ohio State Patrol Trooper Tiffiany Coriell, who shared her firsthand experiences investigating crime scene accidents like the one recreated.

“Here, it is not the driver who is killed and most likely that is the case,” she said.

“This driver is about to go to prison for vehicular homicide. When you get behind the wheel using drugs or alcohol or a combination, that is a choice.”

As staff of Hall Funeral Home covered up Dickess to take her away Boggs was handcuffed, finishing the part of a teen now arrested for drunk driving.

“Unfortunately, that was the wrong choice for the driver,” Coriell said. “His day just got a whole lot worse.”