WILLCOX — Screams, sirens and crimson haunted the Willcox High School football field Thursday in a depiction of how bad decisions can lead to involuntary manslaughter.
The mock car crash is staged once every four years by WASA (Willcox Against Substance Abuse), the Willcox Fire Department, the Sunsites Fire Department, Westlawn Mortuary, IMS Towing and the Willcox Police Department partnering with Willcox schools.
This year, the grisly scene depicted a head-on collision with multiple student actors in ripped clothing and gruesome makeup depicting the injuries and possible death associated with a DUI wreck. The entire high school was brought out to witness the scene as first responders and police treated the scenario as a drill. Police were the first to arrive at the football field, followed shortly by emergency services. The mock crash took more than a month and a half to orchestrate and nearly an hour to act out.
“Saturday is going to be prom night, so we’re trying to do it and give it a dynamic approach to prevention of drinking before prom night. We’re just bringing awareness to the consequences of drinking and driving, or distracted driving or substance abuse while driving. That’s what we’re trying to portray,” said Lila Tenniswood, Willcox High School medical professions instructor. “We are wanting to show how the community is involved in a trauma incident. We’re trying to bring awareness to underage drinking and driving.”
“This year I’ve had a lot of involvement in planning it and getting it running all together. I think it’s going to be a good experience and something valuable for the students so they can take something away from it,” said Willcox school resource officer Nick Williams. “Hopefully, it sends a clear message that this is a possibility. If they make poor decisions, there’s going to be consequences, and, hopefully, it will be eye-opening for some of them. Maybe it will make them think before they make that decision in the future.”