Assumption High School hosted an annual assembly March 25 designed to encourage students to make good choices about alcohol and drug use — and prevent a nightmare scenario.
With the help of the Louisville Metro Police Department, this year’s assembly featured a drunk driving crash simulation in the school parking lot.
“This simulation was complete with a coroner, the jaws of life, firefighters, paramedics, a field sobriety test, an arrest for drunk driving, and a distraught parent arriving at the scene,” said an announcement from the school, noting that students and faculty filled roles as actors in the simulation.
After the simulation, students headed to the gym to hear from Theresa Martinez, whose daughter Ashley died in an alcohol-related wreck.
Martinez now works with the LMPD to help prevent future fatalities.
Assumption junior Caroline Hanke said afterward, “It was really eye-opening to see the whole process,” adding that it “made me more conscious of just how awful drinking and driving is.”
“I think sometimes it takes seeing things how they really are, even if it’s graphic or uncomfortable, to understand the seriousness of an issue, and I think this experience really displayed to me the life-changing consequences of the choice to drink and drive,” Caroline said.
Another student, senior Kailey Roggenkamp, said after reflecting on the experience, “I think many are quick to think that these things won’t happen to them, but with the actresses being friends and students, it gave us a glimpse of the consequences of reality.
“Mrs. Martinez had an impactful story that we all needed to hear, especially from the parent’s perspective. I couldn’t imagine my parents having to go through that. The impact she made on all of us for the time that she spoke was absolutely life-changing and something I won’t forget.”
Student actress, junior Macy Stone, shared her experience acting as the person responsible for the crash.
“At first I knew it was just acting, but somewhere between the sobriety test and hearing Mrs. (Pam) Conway (a teacher who played the mother of a victim) scream, it started to feel real and I actually felt guilty. This made me realize that anything could happen while driving. Even if you aren’t the one under an influence, you still have to be careful. And if you are the one under an influence, never drive. Also, never trust a friend who has been drinking or taking drugs to drive you, even if they insist they are fine. It is not worth the pain and possible jail time that could come from that mistake.”
This is the third time Assumption has hosted a simulation.