Monday, May 16, 2022

Mahanoy City Firefighters Lead Mock DUI Crash for High School Students

High School students at Mahanoy Area received a life lesson Monday morning when the Mahanoy City Fire Department held a mock DUI crash simulating the dangers of drunk driving.

Mock DUI crashes are intended to show the dangers of drinking or distracted driving. 

The scene, Monday, portrayed a two vehicle crash that was caused by drunk driving and resulted in a fatality.

The event was held in collaboration with the Mahanoy City West End Fire and Rescue, Humane Fire Company, Mahanoy City Police, Mahanoy City EMS, and Schuylkill County Coroners Office.

Participating were four Mahanoy Area students, Kyler Shapansky, Kaile Stewart, Tria Manjone, and Hailey Heffelfinger with Stewart portraying the fatality and Shapansky being the drunk driver.  Chemistry teacher Cheryl Fegley portrayed the parent of the fatal victim.

The first responders responded and treated the scene just as if the incident was a real crash.

Fire Chief Dan Markiewicz responded first to the scene reporting in a motor vehicle accident with entrapment

While the high school student body watched nearby, the firefighters and EMS evaluated and removed 3 of the victims using the jaws of life to cut them from their vehicles.

The "drunk" driver attempted to flee scene on foot, which led to Mahanoy City Police Officer Charlie Kovalewski taking him into custody.

Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Dave Truskowsky was "called" to the scene and removed the fourth victim that resulted in a fatality.

The parent of the fatal victim portrayed the sad scene of a mother realizing her daughter had been killed in the crash.

School officials and the fire department hoped to drive home the message to think before you get behind the wheel.

After the scene was cleared, Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Truskowsky, Fire Chief Markiewicz,  and High School Principal Stanley Sabol spoke with the students.

Truskowsky focused on the reality of the crash, what happens to the fatal victim's body, and the effects on family and friends.

"With this incident, I wanted everyone to witness the metal being cut, the glass flying, people screaming, In reality, this could happen any day.  It doesn't have to involve drinking.  It doesn't have to be you.  It could be that car that's coming at you." Truskowsky said.

Principal Sabol, who is also a volunteer firefighter, focused on distracted driving particularly using a cell phone.

"This is a learning experience, we would love to do this 1,000 times before someone gets hurt or injured because of making a wrong choice.  It's the snap, it's the message, the text, it can wait.  No snap, no text, no message is worth anybody's life.  No ones life is worth any mistake. "  Principal Sabol said.