Ware High students stage mock accident on distracted driving

(Western Mass News photo)

Ware High School made a statement outside their classrooms on Tuesday, performing a mock accident on the consequences of distracted driving.

With prom just weeks away, the students and staff want to make it very clear that no text is worth your life.

Four high school students were the victims of a horrible car crash after the driver was caught texting and driving.

Now thankfully, this isn't real, but just being on-scene at Ware High School today, it certainly felt like it.

"We're hoping that we reach just one or two kids that pick up that phone when they're driving down the road to answer that text or even read that text, because if we can stop that from happening, we might just stop a tragedy," said Ware Deputy Fire Chief Edward Wloch.

The program is the first of its kind statewide, according to Wloch, and is part of the high school's new fire safety course, a year-long elective where students can learn how to become firefighters and EMTs.

Tuesday's event was their final exam. Fifteen students re-enacted the accident - from the victims in the car, to the first responders trying to get them out, Jaws of Life and all - as about 200 students looked on.

The program is timely. Prom is just three weeks away and for seniors like Jordan Trzpit, it's better to learn now, then to suffer the consequences later.

"Never text and drive, or drink and drive, because it's very serious and it could lead to a lot of bad things," Trzpit said.

For her mother, Kellie, no parent should ever have to go through that.

"Just seeing my daughter out through the windshield, even though it was just an act, it was really emotional," said Kellie Trzpit

The demonstration and course isn't just another elective. It has become a career path for some as they get ready to enter the real world.

"I loved what he was teaching us and I was actually influenced by it and that's what made me want to become a firefighter," said senior Joseph Gagnon.

Gagnon was front and center at the accident today. He told Western Mass News that he is about to start an internship at the fire department and hopes to work there full-time.

"Being a firefighter just means so much. You can help people and it's just such an amazing job," Gagnon noted.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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