[cifnmedia] Driving, drinking dangers displayed

  • From: <gmcgrath@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Sean Aaron" <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Brad Dietrick" <bradfurniturefirst@xxxxxxxxxxx>,"BRAD DIETRICK" <badleybreak@xxxxxxxxx>, <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 12:20:04 -0400

      Driving, drinking dangers displayed
      * Police, rescue workers stage mock accident at C-SD High School 
            By: GAIL DEAN , Dorchester Editor  04/30/2004 
           Photo by GAIL DEAN   

      Pfc. A.D. Patton of the Cambridge Police Department and his canine 
partner, Ricco, search for illegal drugs during Thursday's mock crash at 
Cambridge-South Dorchester High School. 

      CAMBRIDGE - The ritual of prom is preceded by rituals - lining up the 
limo, selecting a knock-out dress, getting measured for a tuxedo - and 
attending the school assembly warning of the dangers of driving under the 
influence of alcohol or drugs.

      Thursday, Cambridge-South Dorchester High School students got much more 
than a dry lecture and a wrecked car on the school lawn to remind them of their 
mortality as local law enforcement, paramedics, volunteer firefighters and 
others staged a mock accident here in Viking Stadium. It was complete with a 
touch-down by the Trooper 4 Maryland State Police medevac helicopter. The event 
was coordinated through the C-SD Wellness Center for student health.

      The people who regularly face the real tragedies of impaired and 
wreckless driving gave their time Thursday to try to impress C-SD students with 
the fact that young people can die and traffic accidents are a leading cause of 
those deaths.

      Among mock crash participants were volunteers from Rescue Fire Co.; 
representatives of the Thomas Funeral Home, who carried a student from the mock 
accident scene in a body bag; Cambridge Emergency Medical Services responders, 
Cambridge and state police officers, Ricco, the Cambridge Police Department's 
drug-detecting canine, and his handler, Pfc. A.D. Patton, demonstrating how 
quickly the dog could sniff out illegal drugs amongst the three wrecked 

      MSP Sgt. Steve Aaron spoke to students in the football stadium 
bleachers, explaining what was happening in the mock crash scene as 
firefighters, EMTs and other police carried out the real roles they play during 
accidents. C-SD students acted the parts of impaired drivers, injured 
passengers and corpses.

      "You think you're bulletproof," Aaron said, advising students that if 
they learned only one lesson Thursday, it should be, "Use a seatbelt."

      He told C-SD students they would be among the first high schools in the 
state to have breathalyzers available at their prom which will be used if 
authorities suspect a youngster has been drinking alcohol.

      Among students participating in the mock accident who spoke at a school 
assembly which followed were seniors Lauren Effron and Charles Pinkett. They 
reminded students that they have, so far, escaped having a classmate's funeral 
to attend.

      "We are the first class in a long time that has not had to say good-bye 
to someone before graduation," Effron said. "Let's keep it that way," said 

      Continuing to play his role as someone who was arrested for driving under 
the influence, Pinkett spoke of the respect once given a high school senior, 
gone now after making such a mistake, "My mama can't look me in the face 
anymore... My little sister doesn't want to talk to me... Everything I thought 
I had, I lost."

      The reality of what can be lost by a moment's misjudgment was 
dramatically presented by two nurses from the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma 
Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

      Complete story appears in the print version. 

      To subscribe to the print edition click here. 

      ©The Star Democrat 2004  

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