Giles Rescue demonstrates mock D.U.I. crash scene for high school students

PEARISBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -- With prom coming up this weekend, students at Giles High School got a very real reminder on Friday about how their actions could have deadly consequences.

Though just a demonstration, the scene had the intensity of a real emergency.

"This is what it's like on a scene," said First Lieutenant Donnie Collins of Giles Lifesaving and Rescue Squad. "You've got your extrication truck. You've got your ambulances there. You're going to bring a helicopter in if it's bad enough and, if it gets to the point that we need the hearse, we hate for that to happen but it could happen."

The demonstration depicted a head-on crash caused by drunk students, complete with two LifeGuard choppers and student actors, both dead and alive.

"It shows people what really can happen to you and that you could seriously be injured by making bad choices," said senior Rachel Broyles, who was one of the actors in the enactment.

Especially in Giles County, the message goes beyond just the younger generation.

"As a county, Narrows High School had a major tragic accident," said Erin Burton, who teaches driver's education at Giles High School.

15 years ago, a drunk driver took the life of a high school athlete and her niece.

Since then, these demonstrations have served as a chilling reminder of the irreversible damage that can come from just one bad decision.

"What we want to do is make sure that [Melissa] is always remembered, that Lexi is always remembered," Burton said. "That's why we still wear our shirts remembering Melissa and Lexi and to not drink and drive."