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Virginia high school students see deadly DUI drama unfold

McLean residents are understandably proud of the thousands and thousands of fine students attending the colleges and universities in the McLean area. It is undoubtedly accurate to say we are just as proud of the area high school students who will one day soon be studying at those seats of higher learning.

At this time of year, however, even the best and brightest students need to be reminded of the dangers of drinking and driving on graduation days and prom nights. Each year, there are far too many college students and high school kids who lose their lives or are badly injured in motor vehicle crashes caused by impaired drivers.

Some Virginia high school students got a brief lesson in how dangerous drinking and driving can be. Parry McCluer High School students in Buena Vista (about three and a half hours southwest of McLean) saw the effects of a mock head-on crash.

A bloodied classmate laid on the hood of a car after having gone headfirst through the windshield. Another student hung out of the rear passenger door. In the other vehicle, two students were slumped in the front seat of a Buick. Everyone appeared badly injured in the crash.

The point of the crash staged by the school's faculty was to show the gathered students what drinking and driving can look like. The lesson hits home hard in the days prior to the annual prom.

The staged crash includes another handful of kids; students who behave as if they just came across the accident's aftermath. One of the students who arrives at the scene yells at one of the drivers: “Are you drunk?” She turns to the passenger and asks plaintively, “Taylor, why did you let him drive?”

The students who watch the scene unfold become quieter as an ambulance arrives, followed by sobbing parents and finally funeral home workers in a hearse show up to carry off a body.

Let's hope everyone learned a valuable lesson that day and helps to keep upcoming proms and graduations safe.

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