MICHIGAN CITY — Some of the Michigan City students pictured themselves and family members being the ones injured or killed in a mock traffic accident Tuesday, an effort to illustrate the dangers of driving impaired.
"All I could think about was what if that happened to me and how it would affect everyone I knew," said Kate Zientarski, a sophomore at Marquette High School.
Two damaged cars, including one on its side, were placed at 10th and Manhattan streets outside the school in an emergency response scenario involving one fatality.
The injured were played by four nursing students from the Purdue Northwest campus near Westville. They asked the sheriff's office to put on the demonstration, which included a medical helicopter landing then taking off.
"It was fascinating to watch," said 16-year-old Zientarski.
Nicholas Andrews, a 14-year-old freshman, came away with a deeper appreciation for paying close attention to other vehicles on the roadways and staying sober.
"Because you're not sure if they're under the influence or anything. I'll never drink and drive or be intoxicated," he said.
"Now I know it's going to cause huge accidents if you do this stuff and it's not safe at all," said Jake Tarnow, a freshman.
"Ultimately, if we just reach a few, that's the purpose," said LaPorte County Police officer Jonathan Burger.
The drill was part of a health fair at the school which included students manning the controls of video machines simulating what it's like driving impaired and while texting to raise awareness to such dangerous practices.