LHS seniors learn consequences of poor choices

It happened at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday May 28: two Liverpool High School students happened upon a horrific crash in front of the school.

"Please, come quickly -- there's been an accident," Sara Huck sobbed into her cell phone to the 911 operator. "They're hurt really bad."

Meanwhile, C.J. Cuellar circled the cars, surveying the damage. Trapped inside the blue compact, Becca Wemesfelder wept hysterically, clutching her bleeding arm and crying out her friend's name. But Lauren Mahaffy, her passenger, lay bloody and unresponsive.

In the green sedan, meanwhile, Jeanna Bayley and Krisi Bacher sat amid empty beer cans, trying to sober up before the police arrived.

In a matter of minutes, Clay police cars, NOVA ambulances and fire trucks from Moyers Corners were on the scene. Wemesfelder and Bacher were loaded into ambulances while Bayley failed a sobriety test and was lead away in handcuffs. Mahaffy was left for the Onondaga County Medical Examiner, who pronounced her dead and carried her away in a body bag.

Bayley was then arraigned by Clay Town Justice Brian Lauri, who set bail at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond. She now faced criminal charges including vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault and driving while intoxicated.

"She'll have to live with this for the rest of her life," said Assistant District Attorney Matt Doran, who works with the DA's DWI unit. "She hurt her friend. She killed someone -- all because of one bad choice."

An avoidable crime

Fortunately, it wasn't real. It was all part of Liverpool High School's mock DWI presentation, held last Wednesday in an attempt to drive home to LHS seniors the dangers of drinking and driving and the importance of making responsible choices.

"I always say that DWI is the most avoidable crime," Doran told the students, who had come out during their academic support to watch the presentation. "No one has to drink and drive."

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