A high school keg party ended and a young couple drove home in their Jeep. Another couple was heading home, too, but from the movies in a van.
Their vehicles collided head-on, killing the young woman in the Jeep’s passenger seat and seriously injuring the couple in the van. The Jeep’s driver, a young man bloodied from the crash, survived, but was led away in handcuffs after failing a field sobriety test administered by a sheriff’s deputy.
That was the scene laid out before juniors and seniors the morning of May 9 at Baker County High School. It’s a scene that school administrators and faculty hoped wouldn’t be repeated in the coming weeks as students celebrate prom and then graduation.
The mock DUI, as it’s called, is an annual spring event to showcase the tragedies that can result from mixing alcohol and driving.
Last year’s mock DUI, though, was canceled due to a real-life tragedy and the grief-filled aftermath that gripped the high school last spring: the death of senior Rashard Belford. He was killed on April 9, 2011 when a car driven by another young man involved in a fight nearby ran over him in southwest Macclenny.
The 40-minute program, narrated by Sheriff Joey Dobson and organized by the high school’s campus deputy Matt Riegel, included police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel who responded to the staged accident as they would normally.