HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– Students at Mount Union High School on Friday participated in a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) mock crash exercise that went over the dangers of impaired driving.

Students were put at the scene of a deadly crash involving teen drivers. PennDOT along with state police, Fulton County Courts, the Huntingdon County coroner’s offices and other businesses all helped to bring the exercise together for the students.

Police gave a detailed reconstruction of the scene while other officials that were partaking in the demonstration helped out with emergency services and passenger transport. The exercise ended with an adjudication process, complete with a judge, attorneys, and a court ruling.

The exercise was a new learning tool for Junior-Senior Safety Day at Mount Union High School to show kids the dangers of impaired driving as prom and graduation draws closer.

“We want these students to realize that their lives are just starting,” Mount Union High School paraprofessional Lee Carbaugh said. “Drinking at a graduation party or prom might seem fun, but can end tragically. Getting them dressed up in accident makeup and going through such a vivid scenario as this, hopefully gets that message across and prompts them to make smart choices.”

PennDOT actively engages in driver safety education programs on a number of topics and they said that impaired driving is at the top of the list of driver behaviors that produce fatal results.

“Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 16 to 24-year-olds,” District 9 Safety Press Officer Monica Jones said. “We help young drivers better understand the rules of the road and the seriousness of their actions through events such as crash simulations. They need to know just how dangerous alcohol and drug impaired driving is before it’s too late.”

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The businesses and agencies that all partook in the exercise:

  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • Fulton County Courts – Honorable, Judge Devin Horne
  • Huntingdon County District Attorney – David Smith
  • Huntingdon County Coroner Paul Sharum
  • Mount Union Police – Corporal Derek Bledsoe
  • Mount Union Fire Chief & EMS – Chris Skinners