A harsh reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving

Hannah Gomes lays on the hood of one of the cars throughout most of the mock car crash, half her body through the glass of the windshield. She was pronounced “dead” and taken away in a body bag by a hearse from Grandstrand Funeral Home. 
Photo by Derrick Knutson 
Kadie Mattson portrayed the drunken driver. Here, she is performing a roadside field sobriety test. Marisa Morgenstern is placed in a neck brace and loaded onto a stretcher. Brookelyn Hoffbeck calls 911 on her cellphone to report the accident. Kadie Mattson 
is handcuffed, 
“arrested” on 
suspicion of 
drunken driving 
and placed 
into the back 
of a squad car. A helicopter was used in the demonstration. Marisa Morgenstern, in a neck brace and on a stretcher, was loaded onto the medical helicopter. Students watch somberly as their classmates and area emergency services personnel put on the mock car crash. EMS Explorer Brooke Schwintek takes Kaylee Schroeder's blood pressure while Austen Wek sits next to her on the curb.  Ceyerra Kraemer leans her head into Brandon Steffenson’s shoulder as the firefighters and EMS crew are working to get her classmates out of the smashed cars.
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Hannah Gomes lays on the hood of one of the cars throughout most of the mock car crash, half her body through the glass of the windshield. She was pronounced “dead” and taken away in a body bag by a hearse from Grandstrand Funeral Home. Photo by Derrick Knutson

In the parking lot of North Branch Area High School Friday, two cars were damaged, shattered glass was strewn across the pavement, and numerous students were shaken and bloody.

It was the scene of a horrific, head-on accident.

But thankfully the crash was simply a demonstration — a mock crash before prom the next day — to show students the possible consequences of drinking and driving.

Students braved the cold, damp weather to watch some of their peers act out the scene with the assistance of the North Branch Police Department, Lakes Region EMS and the North Branch Fire Department. Even a helicopter was used to take away one of the student actors who was portraying a severely injured passenger in one of the cars.

Photos by Derrick Knutson