It’s quite another, to watch your friends pulled from the wreckage of a car. Or worse still to watch your friend leave the scene of an accident in a body bag.
This was exactly the scene that unfolded in front of Somersworth High Schooler’s eyes on Tuesday morning. The morning began with a gathering in the school cafeteria and a short film. All the fun of the prom was explored, as well as some experimentation with alcohol and drugs on the screen before four friends climbed into two cars and began a journey from which only two of them would return.
Then the high schoolers were walked over to the parking lot of St. Martin’s Church where, as they assembled, a scene of devastation met their eyes as two school buses pulled away to reveal in full graphic detail the scene that had ended the film just minutes before.
Actions Have Consequences.
That scene showed two cars which had obviously been involved in a head on collision. One contained two young ladies in prom dresses and the other two gentlemen dressed in tuxedo’s.
When I say one contained two young men, I’m not giving you the full story. One was laid half in the car, his body having been catapulted through the now broken windshield.
A 911 call was made and the dispatchers voice could be heard calling all units though the now silent air.
For what seemed like an eternity the crowd waited for the emergency vehicles in silence. The sounds of sirens of the Somersworth PD cruisers permeated the air, as the vehicles began to arrive. The officers jumped into action and began to access the situation and injuries as American Ambulance and Somersworth Fire department arrived.
It soon became apparent to all present that the young man who had been driving one of the cars was in distress but not from only from the accident. He was experiencing a heroin overdose and was administered Narcan as he laid on a stretcher before being taken to Wentworth Douglas hospital for further treatment.
The two young ladies who had been traveling in the other car did not fair any better. One was trapped tight inside the car and required the Fire Department to administer the jaws of life in order to get her out. This was done in a timely manner and she too was transported to the hospital. Her friend had received only minor injuries and was too transported to the hospital.
That was not the end of the recreation though. The young man who had been laid across the hood of the car the whole time, was placed in a body bag and carried to a waiting hearse. Watching the entire scene unfold sent shivers up my spine.
Emergency Room Drama
At this point the body of students were escorted back to the High School where the story was continued on film. It was a somber and almost silent walk back to the school and many of the students had been visibly affected by the scene they had just witnessed.
Once every one was seated the film began to role and resumed in the Emergency Room of Wentworth Douglas hospital, where we watched a dedicated team try to revive the young lady who had been trapped in the vehicle. All attempts failed and she was pronounced dead.
At this point, the scene changed and we saw the young male driver who had received few injuries and was being comforted by his Mother. Officer Campbell, who as many know is the school’s resource officer, made an appearance and began to tell the pair what charges the young man was facing. It also turned out that the dead woman was his girlfriend, which added another dimension to the reality of the scene.
Then the attention was turned on the parents of the dead girl. Every parent’s worst nightmare is the call, not just on Prom night but any other night of the year, informing them that their child has been in an accident. The scene that unfolded was graphically portrayed as they held their dead daughter’s hand and allowed the reality of the situation to sink in. They would never see their child again.
While everyone this morning was acting, the unfortunate truth is for so many teens and parents at this time of the year, this becomes reality. Statistics show that during the prom season many parents and teens life’s will be forever changed. Some will live others will not be so lucky.
The reason for this morning’s scene was not to upset those present, but to make them aware in a very real sense, that every action has a consequence. One decision can change your life forever was the message that the event organizers hope they have driven home in a very real and dramatic fashion. I was reminded of the old saying as I watched, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.”
I’d like to applaud Somersworth Police Department, American Ambulance and the Somersworth Fire Department for bringing these scenes to life so vividly. As well as the four students who played their parts so well, they were: Michaela Conley, Brooke Paris, Cameron Tucker and Luke Millspaugh.
There is a lot of planning and coordination involved with recreating a scene like this. According to American Ambulance Chief Paul Robidas that planning began in December last year and has been an ongoing process since.
The entire this scene this morning was recorded and will be edited and added to the two recording that were shown and made into a PSA that can be used now and throughout the year.
As I walked back to my car I watched as the mangled wreckage of the two cars were placed on a Gagnon’s autobody just as they would be at the scene of an accident. It was a haunting reminder that things can change in an instant…