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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Youth see first-hand consequences at drinking and driving mock accident

Monday, April 17, 2006

Top photo: After removing the roof of the car, first responders and Trans-Care personnel remove one of the "victims" as Air Evac lands in the background.

Center: Clay County Coroner Rick Swearingen "confirms" a fatality during the mock accident in the parking lot of NHS.

Bottom Right: NHS event coordinator Bethany Jones sits with students while they watch the emergency crews work to remove the "victims" of the two-car mock accident.

Bottom Left: Austin Tharp, "arrested" for drunk driving during the mock accident, watch the rescue attempts of his friends from Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton's car.

At first there was a definite party atmosphere in the air as Northview High School senior and junior students came out to the parking lot area to watch Thursday's mock accident.

Students cheered as the Clay County Sheriff's Department showed up to arrest the obviously drunk driver. The noisy chaos of sirens blaring and emergency personnel scrambling to rescue the eight "victims" of the two-car accident, quickly changed the mood of the crowd.

One senior, who recently lost friends because of an auto accident knew what to expect, but was surprised by the caviler behavior of her fellow classmates.

"At first, the joking around in the crowd (by the other students) really bothered me. It was like they couldn't remember how it felt to lose a friend. They've all been through it, and it's a hard thing to forget," ChCarra Yockey, 18, said. "I know it is for me."

Yockey didn't like the idea of the mock accident when she first heard about it, but understands the importance now.

"If it saves one life, it's worth it," she said, still wiping away tears.

When one student was pulled from a car wrapped in a blanket and Clay County Coroner Rick Swearingen knelt to confirm the fatality, junior Jade Gillin, 17, couldn't help but cry.

"I've just lost my friend Daniel (Batchelor) in an accident recently. He was like a brother to me," Gillin said. "This is important because kids know they shouldn't get in a car and drive drunk. It's just stupid."

Emergency personnel involved with the mock accident were Clay County Search and Rescue, Posey and Dick Johnson volunteer fire departments, Trans-Care, Air Evac Life Team and the Clay County Emergency Management Agency.

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