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Crash scares students straight

CODE PROM:Students watch emergency responders work a mock accident scene at Mississinewa High School on Friday. The event, staged on the eve of Mississinewa’s prom, was intended to graphically show the students the possible consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@chronicle-tribune.com

GAS CITY — Shattered glass glittered against the concrete with the help of lights from local police vehicles and fire engines during a crash reenactment at Mississinewa High School.

Prom-goers gathered in the parking lot to watch their friends act out the aftermath of a car wreck while the Grant County Rescue Squad, Gas City Police and Fire department, Grant County Sheriff’s and other assisting agencies treated the scene as a real fatal accident. 

Roy Eib, director of the Grant County Rescue Squad, organizes Code Prom, an event every two years for juniors and seniors heading to prom used to show the effects of drinking and driving. 

On Friday, Eib and other emergency personnel visited the high school to talk on the dangers of drinking and driving, and using other substances like marijuana or heroin.

“This is an event to let them know that they’re not invincible, we do this in the hopes that they realize that and they make smart decisions on prom night or any other night,” he said.

Students heading to prom on Saturday watched the simulation of a crash involving a motorcyclist and two sedans. The rescue squad recovered individuals from the cars, which were donated by Page’s Towing Service and Junk Yard, using the jaws of life to remove car doors and roofs.

Afterwards, Dep. Coroner Roger Eib gave a presentation on the dangers of drinking and driving using a record of Grant County teen fatalities in car accidents.

He shared that his own son, Jordan, a Marion High School student, was killed in a collision at 17 years old.

“We all think we’re invincible,” Eib said.

Eib said the most difficult calls he makes as coroner are the ones notifying families that their loved ones passed away.

Andrew Roesch, assistant principal at the high school, said one bad choice doesn’t have to lead to another.

“We would rather (students) call someone to pick you up than drive drunk,” he said. “Having mom or dad upset with you is better than mom and dad being upset you’re gone.”

Mississinewa Prom begins at 8 p.m. Saturday at the high school, and will conclude at 11 p.m. After prom begins at the high school at midnight and will go one until 2 a.m.