Don’t Crash the Party


Photo by Taylor Mitchell

   The crash at Conifer was fatal for two students. Sunlight glinted off of the glass shattered on the pavement,
and the blood mixed with the snow on the car, slowly running down the sides of the two vehicles. The driver was handcuffed, loaded into a cop car, and taken into custody as her peers looked on in horror, seeing the destruction that her drunk driving had caused.

Photo by Taylor Mitchell
Devastated, Kristi Ellerbroek looks at the destruction in front of her, caused by her intoxicated driving. Two of her classmates were killed in the crash, and though it was a simulation, many of the students watching left with a better awareness of what happens when you drive intoxicated.
Photo by Taylor Mitchell
With shattered glass all around him, Jesse West (‘18) lies dead on the windshield of a car during the mock crash scene. West was not buckled in when the cars collided, and went through the windshield when Kristi Ellerbroek’s (‘18) car hit the car he was in.

   This was exactly what Drive Smart had intended.

   With prom approaching, awareness has risen for the dangers of drinking and driving. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, and about a quarter of those deaths involve an underage drinker behind the wheel of a car. The problem is, teenagers don’t realize what could actually happen if they’re intoxicated while driving.

   “People always think, ‘it’s not going to be me, I’m not going to be the one drinking and driving.’ But it does happen all the time, especially to teenagers. People need to understand that people do die,” the “drunk” driver of one of the totaled cars, Kristi Ellerbroek (‘18), said.

Photo by Taylor Mitchell
Trying to touch her dead friend, Kristi Ellerbroek (‘18) is desperate. The Drive Smart organization put on this event for awareness about drunk driving on prom night, and many Conifer students looked on in horror at the simulation.
Photo by Taylor Mitchell
Lying still, Kellan Ireland (‘17) is wheeled away for medical examination. Ireland was in the backseat of the car that was hit, and he wasn’t buckled in, making him much more susceptible for death and injury. Drive Smart works to promote safety in all areas of driving, and the mock crash showed students the effects of intoxicated driving along with riding without a seatbelt.

Ellerbroek’s intoxicated driving caused the deaths of two of her classmates, Mark Ness (‘17) and Jesse West (‘18), when their cars collided in the library parking lot.

   “It’s a lot more dangerous, than people think and I don’t think they take it seriously,” Kellen Ireland (‘17), the backseat rider of the car that Ness was driving, said. Ellerbroek was intoxicated with West riding in her passenger seat without a seatbelt, and she hit the side of a car carrying Ness, Joe Mead, and Ireland.

   “It was really fun at first, but then I actually started to realize the severity of the situation I was in,” Ellerbroek said.

   Every two minutes, someone is injured in a drunk driving accident. On prom night, prove this statistic wrong, and think hard before you get behind the wheel.