Two cars collided in the Brandywine Heights High School parking lot seriously injuring two students and killing one on May 2.
The mock crash, promoting safe prom decisions, occurred during a student car and tractor show in the parking lot.
“Today is a great day for all of our students to really see the impact of what safe driving is all about but also about what bad decisions can lead to,” said Brandywine Superintendent Andrew Potteiger. “If one student takes away from this... really thinks about this and uses it to make better decisions, it was well worth the time and volunteer hours.”
Students gathered around the accident scene while Topton EMS, firefighters and State Police arrived on scene, reacting as if the injuries were real for Brandywine juniors Curtis Miller, Jacob Moyer and Cory Vasilik and sophomore Nathan Moyer.
The DUI driver, Jacob Moyer, was asked to perform the sobriety field test. His face was blooded by the crash that landed his car upside down on the hood of another car. Jacob was taken away in handcuffs by a state police officer. EMS pulled his passenger, Curtis Miller, out of his car and assessed his injuries. He was strapped to a gurney and taken to an ambulance.
In the other car, Nate Moyer sustained injuries. Topton firefighters cut off the car roof to extricate him from the vehicle and he was flown by MedEvac to the hospital.
One student lay facedown across the back of Nate’s car. Deceased, a white sheet was placed over Cory Vasilik.
The scene grew grim as the coroner arrived on scene. Emergency personnel placed Cory in a body bag and wheeled him past the crowd of watching students.
“It tugs at my heart strings. It’s difficult as the principal here,” said Principal Heather Piperato, who has in the past received news of the death of students related to various reasons. “That is never a phone call you want to get.”
The simulated crash scene always affects her. She is grateful to emergency personnel who quickly assess and save lives. A nationally trained firefighter herself, “I have seen it in several real life situations and it always tugs at my heart.”
Piperato hopes students learn several lessons from the event, that they learn prevention and are careful about the decisions they make and the speed they drive and wear seat belts.
“I liked the juxtaposition of the car show with an accident scene,” she said. “Many have their own cars and they can see some of their bad decisions may result in loss of life, may result in loss of health and may result in loss of property.”
She hopes that they “realize what they could lose is more than just property, but their life also or their friends.”
Brandywine junior Curtis Miller, 17, talked about participating in the mock accident, an experience he said most people don’t have unless it actually happens to yourself. He said it made him realize what could happen.
“The smartest thing is don’t drink and drive. It’s not worth it,” said Curtis, member of the Sportsman Club. “It could be a bad day real quick.”
Colby Hartline, 17, member of the Sportsman Club, helped firefighters set up the mock crash scene. “Think before you do things. Don’t drink and drive. Play things smart. If you know people doing it, try to steer them away from doing it.”
Hartline thanked all of those who helped organize the event, those in the Sportsman Club, Topton Fire Co., Topton EMS, State Police, Coroner, MedEvac and gave special thanks to Steve Kline of Topton Fire/EMS.
Family and consumer science teacher Heather Damato, Sportsman Club adviser with Kevin Dolan, said the club organized the car and tractor show as well as the Operation Prom accident scene.
Damato hopes students enjoyed the car and tractor show that gave them the opportunity to show off what they’ve been working on.
“And we want them to make good decisions, whether it be prom, end of the year, summer,” said Damato. “Make responsible choices and think about what they’re doing before they get behind the wheel.”