Juniors and seniors at North Johnston High received a powerful message on distracted driving through a reenactment of a teen car accident.
The school’s JoCo Teen Drivers chapter and Theatre Art I class staged a mock accident scene for their classmates on March 25 in the school’s field house parking lot.
The program consisted of testimony from area emergency services and a reenactment of a fatal teen accident. The scene was intended to remind students of the perils of driving while distracted or under the influence.
Leaders in the JoCo Teen Drivers chapter, Will Stallings, Ashley Narron, Dante Scarborough, Xiamara Rodriguez, Sable Wright, and Curtis Morris, planned and coordinated the event with the support of their principal, Dr. Ben Williams.
“The students met and exceeded my expectations,” said Williams. “I think that I am proud of our students, and then they go and do something like this, and I am more proud than I ever thought I possibly could be.”
The students said that they wanted to remind their peers to drive safely with prom, spring break, and graduation upon them.
NJHS School Resource Officer Deputy Millie Bailey shared her emotional and moving story of the death of her husband, William Grey Bailey, with students at the presentation. While working on a highway under construction, Grey was hit and killed by driver under the influence of drugs. Grey is immediately survived by Deputy Bailey and their twin daughters, Lydia and Vera.
NJHS graduate and teacher David Anderson, who was in an accident just a few weeks after his high school graduation, also shared his testimony with students. Anderson told students that he was left paralyzed from the chest down at age 18 after turning in front of another vehicle and not wearing a seatbelt. He reminded students that everyday split-second decisions can affect the rest of their lives and the lives of their families and friends.
The scene occurred and was followed by emergency, fire and trooper response, CPR, triage, extrication of victims, driver arrest, death notification of family, and a gathering at a roadside cross. The cross was made and donated by former NJHS teacher, Bill Ellis.
Several local organizations assisted in creating a realistic scene that taught students the consequences of poor driving decisions. Mike’s Paint and Body Shop of Kenly provided the crashed vehicle. The Fire Departments of Kenly, Micro, and Bethany; the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office; Johnston County EMS; and the NC State Highway Patrol provided the mock response.
Students Jamison Clifton, Hunter Hodge, Jacob Williams, and Kyle McLerory worked with the fire departments as they attended to the victims at the scene.
Teacher and JoCo Teen Drivers sponsor, Thomas Garrou, enlisted the Theatre Arts I Class for help with the production. Students Trey Allen, Jill Dinisi, Ian Runyon, Breanna Holloman, and Abby Delbridge portrayed the driver, passengers, and narrator. Michelle Pitts, a parent of a NJHS student, portrayed the grieving mother. Sonya Kiser, theatre teacher, wrote the script for the production and theatre student Breanna Holloman designed and implemented the realistic make-up.
The wrecked vehicle and the cross remained in the parking lot throughout the week leading up to prom as a reminder to the students of what they witnessed and learned. All students had written permission to attend the event.