OBSERVER Staff Report
WESTFIELD - The lawn behind the Westfield Academy and Central School was the sight of a mock driving while intoxicated scene by Starflight.
It was the first time in over eight years such an event was held in Westfield. Two years ago, Secondary Principal Ivana Hite coordinated with Chautauqua Lake Central Schools and sent juniors and seniors to its program. This year, ninth through 12th grade students braved the rainy weather to learn about the realities and consequences of drunk driving.
Photo by Jenna Loughlin
One of the victims of a mock driving while intoxicated accident scene is loaded onto a Starflight helicopter by local first responders behind Westfield Academy and Central School as ninth through 12th grade WACS students look on.
The program started in the auditorium with a skit by a student group, which set the tone for the upcoming crash. This was followed by a short talk by a deputy, and then the student audience moved out to the "crash scene" for a simulated accident involving some of the skit characters.
During this part of the program there were both Westfield Police Department and Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department cars, Westfield Fire Department ambulances, a hearse, the coroner and Starflight helicopter responding to the school. One student was "arrested," one was taken away by ambulance, and one was flown out by Starflight. Emotion evoking music was then played during the "body bag" removal of the deceased student, and she was driven away in the hearse.
Students were then sent back into the auditorium to see a fake arraignment of the drunk driver in front of a real justice and also a pseudo memorial service.
The event was put on to remind students not to drink and drive on prom night.