The Bellefontaine High School DARE Club performed an alcohol-related mock crash Wednesday afternoon to promote safe driving with prom and graduation season approaching.
The head-on crash was staged at the Logan County Fairgrounds in front of the grandstand. Juniors and seniors attended the event.
First responders reported on the dangers of impaired and distracted driving, noting that motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens.
Each day, about seven teens die from motor vehicle crash injuries nationwide.
Per mile driven, teen drivers (age 16-19) are nearly three times as likely as drivers age 20 or older to be in a fatal crash.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 58 percent of those killed in a crash since 2015 were not wearing a seat belt.
From 2016-2020, there were 66,181 distracted driving crashes in Ohio, which resulted in 212 deaths.
In the mock accident, senior Connor Skidmore acted as an impaired driver. He collided head-on with an SUV operated by senior Mackenzie Southard.
Skidmore’s passenger, junior Keagon Overton-Story, was ejected. Overton-Story, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead in the mock crash.
Skidmore had minor injuries and was arrested at the scene.
Southard and her passenger, junior Mekenzie Flora, suffered serious injuries. Flora was transported by squad to the hospital.
Southard was trapped and removed by the Jaws of Life. CareFlight landed at the fairgrounds and transported her to a trauma center.
Skidmore, Southard, and Flora were wearing their seat belts.
Senior Sam Moreland and junior Joslyn Robinson witnessed the crash and called 911.
Moments later, the Bellefontaine Police Department and Bellefontaine Fire and EMS arrived on scene.
Finally, the students listened to a sobering presentation from Laura Seger.
Seger’s son, Joey, was killed by an impaired driver near Troy in September 2010. Joey was a senior at Piqua High School.
Seger urged each student to make wise choices. She said impaired crashes are 100 percent preventable.
Sergeant Ryan Stanley from the Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol also spoke to the students.
Bellefontaine High School’s Prom is slated for Saturday night, and commencement for the Class of 2022 is May 20.