WHY? Senior Jon Bartelt (playing the role of  junior Alexander Cumming) shows his devestation upon discovering his girlfriend junior Tiffany Claure (portryaing senior Jacqueline Peloso) is dead. photo/Morgan Smith

Cop cars, fire trucks and emergency responders crowded the football field on April 15 as the biannual mock DUI accident occurred.

Assistant Principal Carlota Mendoza-Iglesias, Rebecca Poffenberger, drama students and the Orlando Fire Department collaborated to create a real life situation of what can happen when someone drives under the influence.

“I believe this is really important; a lot of teens feel they are invincible in situations and this is not the case,” Poffenberger said.

Fifteen drama students, playing different roles, partook in the mock accident. Junior Alexander Cumming and senior Jacqueline Peloso, lead actors, portrayed a mock storyline of their prom experience. The “night” began with Cumming picking up Peloso and driving to prom. On their way home, an intoxicated Cumming, hit a car head-on.

“I don’t think enough people think about the things that can happen if they drive intoxicated, so it was good to [show them] what happens,” Peloso said.

After hearing a loud crash sound, simulated by Orange County Arson and Bomb Squad, reality set in amongst the observers.

“When the crashed happened I heard the boom and I felt goosebumps run down my body as I really began to comprehend what had just happened,” senior Malik Johnson said.

Moments later emergency crews responded driving onto the football field. Battalion chief Mark Smothers narrated the crash telling the student witnesses what occurred on and off a crash site and the dangers of driving under the influence.

“I really hope students take away that life has choices, there are good choices that lead to rewards and poor choices that lead to consequences,” Smothers said.

After first responders examined one car, they discovered a dead passenger, Peloso. To save a victim in the other car, responders cut off the roof in hopes of saving the passengers. Firefighters removed senior Tanner Kaiser and junior Kathleen McCree from the car and transported them to Orange County Regional Medical Center.

“It was all done so realistically that you would actually understand the consequences if this really happened,” Peloso said.

Minutes later fire fighters removed Peloso from the car and put her into a body bag. A Florida Highway Patrol officer then visited Peloso’ home to let her parents know the devastating news. Emotion hung over the crowd as Ms. Peloso drove off in the back of the patrol car in tears to identify her dead daughter.

“When the officer walked into the house to tell the parents about their daughter’s death the realness set in,” Johnson said. “You really see how much a decision like this can affect your family.”

Students walked out in awe as they saw Peloso’s casket with a picture of her displaying “1998-2016” beneath it.

“This was a real deal thing, it’s not something you can teach in a lecture,” Poffenberger said. “I really hope students take it seriously and see what can happen if you make the decision to drive under the influence.”

Click here to check out photos from the Mock DUI. The next Mock DUI will be in spring of 2019 with the class of 2018 and 2019.

By Tyler Rispoli

I am a senior at Boone and serve boonepubs as the Digital Media Editor. I enjoy photography, videography and graphic design!

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