A sobering reminder

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Camas High School drunk driving impacts demo, Friday, June 4, 2010

On a rainy day, 400 Camas High School seniors witnessed a powerful reenacment about the effects of drunk driving.

The elaborate drunk driving car crash demonstration, called Stop Kids Intoxicated Driving, or S.K.I.D, has been presented to all Camas High School seniors for the past six years.

The demonstration, organized by Kelly Kealoha, involved the Camas fire and police departments, emergency medical services services and Washington State Patrol, along with the student and parent actors. The participation from these volunteers gave the audience a chance to witness the real potential effects of drunk driving.

Tim Moore, a retired deputy out of Hillsboro, Ore., assisted Kealoha in the re-enactment, and has been presenting S.K.I.D. to various high schools around the area since 1998.

The performance started with an officer saying, “Good morning everyone and welcome to something both unusual and interesting,” a well chosen introduction for those about to see the demonstration.

Students Blake Wales, Ali Fox, Taylor Williams and Jack Lukins all played a part in the crash simulation, with Fox as the drunk driver, Wales as the student who was killed, and Taylor Williams, the sober student who would be paralyzed in the other car.

The pre-recording gave the scene as 1 a.m., on a weekend, partying at a friend’s house.

Fox succumbs to peer pressure and ends up driving to another party with passengers in her car, with Wales sitting in the front seat without a seatbelt.

The car ends up drifting into the oncoming lane, striking another car at 60 mph, with driver Williams, who was returning home from watching a movie with a friend.

After various sound effects, including tires screeching and bent metal, the senior audience sat with blank expressions.

A contributed radio recording from 97.1 Charlie FM plays to the students.

“This just in from Clark County. There has been an accident…multiple injuries and a possible fatality.”

Possibly the most powerful situation of the whole performance, the parents of Blake Wales arrive at the crash site after being called by one of the students who was in the crash. The family factor brought a sense of realism and personal reaction to the scene.

Fox, the driver, is given a field sobriety test, and after failing, she is placed under arrest for DUI.

Wales is taken away in a hearse, and Williams in an ambulance, paralyzed after dreaming of playing baseball for Washington State University.

The re-enactment ended with, “I’ve spent the last 3 1/2 years in prison and I’ve got eight more to go,” said Fox, the drunk driver. “But that’s nothing compared to what I have to live with everyday. I killed Blake.”

After a recording thanking those involved, the words, “have a wonderful graduation,” were heard by the audience, reminding them that although some of them may drink, they should not succumb to peer pressure, and not to get in a car with anyone who has been drinking.