With prom tonight, Albion students get sobering message about drunk driving

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 June 2016 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Cheyanna Eagle, an Albion High School senior, lies on the front of a damaged car this morning during a simulation to warn students about driving drunk, impaired or distracted.

Tonight is Albion’s prom, and it’s also soon to be the start of graduation parties. Albion High School leaders welcomed about 35 first responders for this morning’s simulation that included six students who wore makeup to appear bloodied from an accident.

Albion, Barre and Carlton firefighters work to tear off the top of this vehicle to rescue a trapped student. This was the first time in six years Albion staged the simulation.

“We want to show you what happens when people make bad choices, whether driving drunk or after using drugs or pills,” Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni told students watching the simulation.

Joe Madejski, an Albion junior, is put through drunk driving field sobriety tests.

Katie Mann waits in an ambulance. She was one of six students who wore makeup to help send a message about the seriousness of driving impaired or drunk.

“This is not a lecture,” Chief Nenni told the students. “We’re going to show you what happens when someone makes a bad choice.”

COVA medics Barb Morlino, Jason Spencer (back) and Bob Snekser work on student Evan Steier after he was pulled from the wreck.

Evan Steier is taken by stretcher to a Mercy Flight helicopter.

Mercy Flight arrives for a transport.

Firefighters and medics tend to student Emma Wadhams.

Allyson Irwin, an Albion senior, is also an Albion firefighter. She joined the other firefighters in today’s simulation.

The arm of Cheyanna Eagle hangs off the car while firefighters work to free another student.

Cheyanna Eagle is pronounced dead at the scene. Her mother, Renee Hungerford, sees her. Hungerford hugged her daughter and screamed in agony.

Even though it was a simulation, Hungerford said after that it was a shock to see her daughter on a stretcher, pretending to be dead.

“The emotions took over,” she said.

Hungerford was asked about two weeks ago to be part of today’s simulation. She said she reluctantly agreed to the exercise.

“I’ve had nightmares for two weeks,” she said. “But it’s an important message the kids need to know.”

Cheyanna has been an active member of the Albion drama program. She could hear some of her classmates crying while watching the simulation this morning.

“We wanted to send this message especially with prom tonight,” she said.

Matthew Peterson, the high school principal, talks to students after the simulation. He thanked the first responders for their work with the exercise.

“This was done because we care deeply about everyone of you and we want you to make the right decision,” Peterson told the students.

Peterson said after that he had never seen such a simulation. He said it was powerful to witness.

“It’s difficult to simulate emotions, but there were tears and shock,” he said. “I think it will leave a lasting impression.”

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