Making students aware of the dangers of drinking and driving

Making students aware of the dangers of drinking and driving

It’s spring in the inland northwest and along with the blooming of flowers it’s also the time for blooming romances and high school proms. Fire districts across the region are teaming up with schools to help students be aware of the dangers and potential consequences that come with drinking and driving.

The annual right of passage often comes with not only tuxedoes and prom dresses but often alcohol. Thursday afternoon at Lakeside High School, Darren Mattozzi will talk to students about the pain he and his family went through when his brother was killed in a drunk driving crash on Highway 291.

Damon Mattozzi’s death prompted Darren to dedicate his life to making people aware of the fact that drunk driving and the consequences that come with it are 100 percent preventable.

Following the assembly students will move to the school’s track where a 2-car crash will be staged with student actors.

Crews from Stevens County Fire District No. 1 will extricate students from the mangled cars. Some will be rushed away in an ambulance. Some, in front of the students, will be pulled from the vehicles, covered in a blanket and pronounced dead. A drunk driver will be arrested and taken away in a police car.

The idea is to give students a realistic view of what firefighters and police see when they respond to drunk driving or distracted driving crashes. It is the hope of organizers that seeing the consequences will keep students from tipping back the bottle and then deciding to drive.

Counselors will be available afterwards for students that may experience distress due to watching the event.