VIDEO: The Facebook video is from start to finish the presentation of a mock crash demonstration. Videographer, Jenna Muirhead.
By Dan Ramey
Chillicothe High School students had a front row seat to witness rescue crews respond to an accident at North Street and Yoctangee Parkway Thursday morning.
Fortunately, the accident was merely a mock crash demonstration. The events occured in real time as they witness fellow students who, in actor portrayal, were injured... two seriously and another fatally.
While the onlookers knew the staged event wasn't real, the expressions of some showed the message was received.
The driver of the van, Madeline Digges, had never been in an accident. DIgges said she was shaken by the experience. She was given a field sobriety test and placed under arrest by Trooper Dement in front of her peers.
Parents also participated and displayed their emotions of approaching a crash scene of teen victims. One of them was Digges' mother Andrea could see how the event affected her daughter, while in the backseat of the State Patrol cruiser. "I hope this has the same impact on her fellow students as it has on her... that's what this is all about" as she consoled Digges.
Two students with more serious injuries were taken away by Chillicothe Fire EMTs. Classmates stood silent however, as the physician pronounced the driver of the other car dead on arrival. They watched as Zach Coats was extracted from his car and placed in a body bag.
CHS Principal Dr. Jeffrey Fisher said the whole idea of such an assembly followed by the mock crash was to be ussed as a visual teaching tool to remind young drivers to avoid distractions while behind the wheel. "It's not only to have a safe prom season" said Fisher, but to hopefully help them have a safe summer long after the prom." Chillicothe's prom is Saturday April 29th.
The Chillicothe Police and Fire Departments, Ross County Sheriff's Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Chillicothe High School's Teen Institute, Gerber Nationwide Insurance, Haller Funeral Home and Ernie's Salvage played vital parts in the event. Thank you also to Daelyn Fry, Chillicothe Teen Institute.