Tragedy and dealing with the loss of a loved one due to drinking and driving on a night that was meant for making memories is undeniably traumatic.
It's doubtful anyone wants to go through that. Not on prom night, or any other night.
To get Skaneateles High School juniors ready for Friday night's prom, emergency response teams showed them what can happen when friends get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
The mock DWI took place Wednesday May 6 in the parking lot at the Austin Park Pavilion on Jordan Street and the accident scene looked extremely real -- something the students noticed right away.
"It was kind of scary. They made it seem exactly like it would be if it happened right then and right there," said student Amrita Deol.
As rescue teams took immediate action, the students watched, some with tears in their eyes as their classmates struggled to get out of the SUV -- or didn't, as was the case with victim Amy Greenfield who lost her life in the mock-up.
"This is exactly what happens when poor choices are made," said Jeff Beveran, who narrated what was happened on the scene along with Skaneateles Police Officer Bill Marventano.
Marventano and his wife were in a motor vehicle accident approximately 18 months ago when a drunk driver hit the Marventano's car. The officer said he sustained 25 broken bones. Had his wife been driving, it is likely she would have been killed.
The stories from his accident only added to the reality of what the students were witnessing as the scene unfolded before them.
"Seeing what could actually happen is pretty powerful and will make people think twice before driving intoxicated," junior Tom Droppa said.
Beveran and Marventano talked to the students about the investigation process and also about what happens when a fatality occurs. Once deceased victims' vitals are checked, they are placed in a body bag and generally taken by hearse to the medical examiner's office or a funeral home.