The candid truth of DUI crashes

When watching a mock DUI, Trinity students underestimate the powerful message in avoidable crashes


Kenny Hill

Trinity students look on with distress as they witness the destructive power that comes with a DUI car accident.

Amy Qiao, Staff Writer

  As 400+ Trinity students file into the bleachers to watch a DUI re-enactment, freshman Layla Kaplan expects a tacky performance that will be ignored for the rest of the day. However, what was expected to be a corny simulation, now leaves Kaplan and her friends in tears.

  On April 4th, 2019, all upper school students marched to the track field after first period to watch the DUI simulation. The re-enactment was organized by the SADD Club and their presidents: Margaret Parent and Selena Kuhlman. Brian Brown, SADD Club’s faculty sponsor, was the main coordinator in getting a third party to participate in the mock DUI.

  Since Trinity Prep lies between two different counties, Brown had to reach out to both the Seminole and Orange County Police Departments for assistance in the presentation. In the end, Orange County PD agreed to arrange the different materials needed for the re-enactment such as the ambulances, fire trucks, and helicopters.

     Although the re-enactment had no scripts or practice run-throughs, Parent believes the simulation was a lot better then it would’ve been rehearsed.

  “Once it started going, I think it was a strong part of the fact that it was real and in the moment.” Parent said. “I didn’t think it would hit me the way it did because we prepped for it and knew the ins and outs [of the simulation], but then, I was sitting up there tearing up. It was almost perfect that it wasn’t rehearsed because they were raw emotions.”

  Dr. Gary Goodman, one of the speakers from the event, shared his own story of reporting unfortunate news to an inflicted family. Goodman stated that he didn’t even know the victim of the crash, but regardless, the overwhelming grief of the parents and friends in the waiting room put in perspective the severity of preventable crashes. He highlighted how DUI deaths impact everyone, whether it be a parent, a friend, or a doctor reporting the unfortunate news.

  The last speaker to share his own personal story was Bill DeMott, father to twenty-year-old Keri DeMott, who was killed in a DUI car crash by a multiple DUI offender in 2015. Ever since his daughter’s death, DeMott has been traveling the world educating teens about the true consequences of avoidable crashes. He has been sharing his story through “The Keri Anne DeMott Foundation”, a non-profit organization started by the DeMott family.

  Senior Aiza Saeed, a participant in the mock DUI, was gurnied into the ambulance when DeMott started his speech. Although she could barely hear DeMott, she was still impacted by the few words she heard from him.

  “Since I was in the ambulance, I only heard tidbits of [Bill DeMott’s Speech], but those tidbits were still very powerful.” Saeed said.

  Freshman Layla Kaplan states that the SADD Club did an excellent job in executing the authenticity of a DUI crash, and she was glad that they didn’t “sugarcoat” it.

  “At some point during the performance, everyone was paying attention. We were all stunned by the reality of the situation.” Kaplan said. “There were multiple people around me who were crying because they were so impacted, including me.”

  Senior Sophia Olore also had low expectations for the re-enactment because she knew it would be a mock performance. However, Olore said that seeing one of her closest friends, senior Isabella Garganese, pretend to be dead in the car incident shocked her.

  “Even though it was fake, it was pretty sad because my friends were in it.” Olore said.