As the school year comes to a close, Columbian High School students can participate in celebratory events, such as prom, an after-prom activity and graduation.
Officials want to make sure students enjoy joyous events but also want to make sure they're safe, said Larry Kisabeth, interim principal.
"We want you to have fun," he said. "We want you to enjoy yourselves, but we also want you to be safe and make good decisions."
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Columbian High School students watch Tiffin Fire Rescue Division personnel work at the scene of the mock crash Wednesday.
Columbian students watched a real-time simulation of a crash at Frost-Kalnow Stadium Wednesday morning. The fatal accident involved a car and a van that collided in the middle of an intersection. One struck the other in the driver's-side door.
"This type of accident can occur anywhere," narrator Keith Hodkinson said.
Hodkinson said since January 2009, 19 people have died on Seneca County roads. Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death among people the students' ages, he said.
What the students saw was a dramatization, but it is accurate, Hodkinson said.
"Please, buckle up and drive safely," he said.
Ellen Groves, the adviser of Columbian's Students Against Destructive Decisions organization and a prevention specialist at Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services of Seneca County, said the crash participants were SADD members. The purpose of the crash, she said, is to encourage students not to drink and drive and to show them the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.
Kisabeth said he hopes students are extra careful after seeing the program.
"We hope that this will only be an assembly," he said.
Chris Hafley, a firefighter/paramedic with Tiffin Fire Rescue Division, planned the day's events.
He estimated the first simulation at Columbian was in 1994, and the last one was in 2009. It is offered about every three years. Participants in Wednesday's program were Engle-Shook Funeral Home and Crematory, Hodkinson, John's Welding & Towing, Life Flight, SADD, Tiffin Fire Rescue Division and Tiffin Police Department, he said.