Prom is a big deal for most high school students. Most often held in the month of May, the huge dance signifies just how close it is to school letting out for the summer. It is a time of happiness and celebration. Girls get to dress up in beautiful dresses, while the boys typically don tuxedos or dressy suits for the occasion. Prom is often considered a milestone in the life of a teenager. However, it can also be a time of tragedy and sorrow for teenagers who aren’t responsible drivers. 

Many schools stage “mock accidents” in the weeks leading up to prom. The reason? To help teenagers fully realize that there are very real consequences when it comes to reckless, distracted, and drunk driving. Sometimes just talking about an important issue isn’t enough for some kids. They need to see the actual reality of their actions. Some studies have shown that prom weekend is the most dangerous for students in high school. That is why many school districts set up a mock accident close to prom weekend, a time when many young teenagers will be driving to and from the dance and after-prom parties. 

Marathon High School decided to put on their own mock accident five days before their prom. Various workers from Monroe County Sherriff’s Office, along with Marathon Fire Rescue, put on quite the sobering show for the huge crowd of students. The mock accident starred Matthew Kratzert, a sophomore at Marathon, and Nicole Joniaux, a senior at the same school. The two were dressed up in prom attire and played the victims of a horrific car crash. 

Fire and rescue teams first worked to “free” the kids from the mangled car wreck as students looked on. Nicole could then be seen stretched out on a stretcher while given oxygen by the paramedics. Matthew was also strapped to his own stretcher and was taken into the waiting ambulance. The car, as well as the students, were covered with fake blood. The two were attended by Christopher Sanchez and Lizdania Santana. Lizdania is a graduate of MHS. 

The mock accident went off without a hitch. This powerful display showed students what can actually happen if they choose to drive drunk or recklessly, even for just a few miles. It is a grim reminder that even the happiest weekends can quickly turn into tragedies when a person chooses to drive irresponsibly.