Mock Crash drives home important message
Being part of the annual mock crash is an intense experience, said the seniors who participated yesterday. First, students imagine they are a group of teenagers drinking and speeding down the road, followed by an ear-splitting crash, fatal injuries and shock and disbelief. Haverhill Fire and Police Departments arrive on the scene with lights and sirens blaring and get to work putting the driver through field sobriety tests and rescuing the living from the mangled car wreck in the school parking lot. A hearse from Farmer and Sons Funeral Home quietly approaches to remove the dead.
“It was very scary,” said senior Arianna Mak. “I felt nervous the whole time and claustrophobic. They put me in the body bag and zipped it up and put a blanket over my head.” She was one of two staged fatalities, both innocent victims in a second car.
“It felt like it was really happening,” said senior Maya Looker, who was a passenger in the back seat. “The firefighters were taking it seriously. They sawed the car door off and put me on a stretcher.”
The mock crash is a long standing tradition at Whittier Tech performed by and for the senior class as they head into a week of senior prom and graduation festivities. After the crash, the Class of 2019 viewed a film of a drunk driving crash in the auditorium and listened to a mother speak of her daughter who was killed in that accident.
Seniors who volunteered to be the actors were: Maya Looker of Newburyport, Arianna Mak of Merrimac, Emily Shal of Amesbury, Kayla Adams, Tori Kitchings, and Cailyn Merrill, all of Haverhill. To prepare, they met twice with School Resource Officers to write the script and record the tragic action that was played over loudspeakers where the senior class gathered in front of the smashed cars. Special-effects makeup was applied by seniors Natalie Harriman of Groveland and Evie Sanzo of Haverhill.
“Being a participant in the mock crash was so surreal,” said Cailyn Merrill, a passenger in the car. “Even if no one watching learned anything, I definitely did.”