The discussion was suddenly interrupted with a message more powerful than words, as the mock mother of the deceased student arrived at the scene.
Mary Jo Clary, a library aide, put herself in the shoes of a mother who has just learned that her child had been riding in the mangled vehicle - and was now dead at the scene. She ran screaming and crying toward the wreckage. It took two men to hold her back as she tried, hysterically, to get to her daughter.
Observers to the drama got tears in their own eyes.
The speakers pointed out to students that with the massive activity at the scene, no one was paying any attention to the victim whose long beautiful curls hung down from her head and onto the roof of the car, where she lay. "She is not their priority, because she is dead. There is nothing anyone can do for her," VanBeveran said.
Bednarski told students that as disturbing as the scene might be, it was "cleaner" than in real life. "A car crash is an incredibly violent event. What it does to the body is incredibly violent as well," he said, saying the body may not be found in one piece.
Police Chief Lloyd Perkins told students that the massive number of people were there because they care about the students' safety. Volunteers included people from the Skaneateles Fire Department, Skaneateles Police Department, the Mottville Fire Department, SAVES, Marcellus Ambulance, Scriven's Body Shop, Robert Gray Funeral Home and Plis Funeral Home.
"We are here because we all care about you. We don't want to see anyone get hurt," Perkins said.
VanBeveran said the volunteers all had one goal: "To keep you safe." He hopes they remember the Mock DWI after the prom, while in college, or at 25 and starting their career. "I hope you remember this before having that extra beer or before sending that extra text while driving. Please take this message. This is real."
Jen Richardson, one of the student speakers from the SADD Club, said that three out of ten people will be involved in a drunk driving accident in their lives. She encouraged the students to sign the Prom Promise pledge, which was offered by SADD Club members during the lunch period in the cafeteria.
Submitted by Lori Ruhlman, SCSD Information officer.