Mock crash presents sobering pre-prom warning

South Kitsap High School students volunteered to bring the necessary realism to Tuesday morning’s mock DUI crash. - Chris Chancellor/Staff Photo
South Kitsap High School students volunteered to bring the necessary realism to Tuesday morning’s mock DUI crash.
— image credit: Chris Chancellor/Staff Photo

It was a little different than the typical request from a daughter to a father.

Kate Gregory asked her father, Lynn, to participate in Tuesday morning’s Mock DUI Car Crash on Mitchell Avenue.

His role was to play the grieving father before an audience of seniors at South Kitsap High School as his daughter was pronounced dead at the scene of a two-car wreck and removed by the Kitsap County Coroner.

“I thought it was so important that I really wanted to take part,” said Gregory, adding that two of his uncles were killed when he was younger by a drunk driver. “Hopefully it has an impact on the students.”

The event has been held for more than a decade in front of the school before prom and graduation. Prom is scheduled for Saturday, while commencement is June 5.

“We’re hoping students will make the right choice with the reality of how easily this can happen,” said Jonathan Stone, a chaplain. “Call for a tow truck or call for their parents to pick them up. Because that’s better than getting in that car.”

Marina Hrubienski, a senior at South Kitsap, said she knows of students, including some friends, who plan to drink before prom.

“It’s important that you’re aware of what you’re doing and the impact you can have on your and everyone else’s lives,” said Hrubienski, who played the student driving drunk before prom who caused the accident.

Hrubienski, who is involved with South Kitsap’s Acting Ensemble, which helped produce the event, said it was an emotional event.

“You don’t want to be the person to cause that,” Hrubienski said. “You don’t want to be the reason you never see your friends again.”

South Kitsap Fire and Rescue medical officer Mike Wernet said they want the activity to be as “realistic as possible.” He said they try and make adjustments every year to keep the event fresh. This year, a police dog found drug paraphernalia in the wreckage of one of the cars.

“That’s really common in high school,” Hrubienski said. “It’s good they put that in there. It’s not just drinking that obstructs driving.”

As a parent, Gregory said he hopes the message resonates with students.

“This is as close as I ever want to come to this,” he said. “If it saves the life one of these kids, I think this scenario is well worth it.”

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