St. Louis County students take part in distracted driving mock crash

BALLWIN, MO - The devastating and dangerous consequences of distracted driving.

That was the driving message at a student mock crash scenario held at West County Fire and EMS Wednesday afternoon.

Student actors played the victims of the crash, including two passengers who were killed and a driver who was arrested after failing a sobriety test.

"Just going through the tests was very nerve wracking to know that someone could cause all this damage as one person," said Vivien Harrell, a student at Marquette High School.

Mothers and daughters of the National Charity League Gateway Chapter sat around the lot to watch as first responders treated the injured victims, taking one driver who was texting, away in a medevac.

Even though the scenario was made up, for Nina Abboud who played the part of a grieving mother, the scene felt all too real.

"Every time my kids leave the house this is what I envision as the worst possible scenario of what could happen," Abboud said.

Cindy Licavoli's daughter played the part of the dead passenger lying on the ground. She said it was something that she couldn't help but get emotional about.

"No mom, no father should bury a child," Licavoli said, "I hope this demonstration will help lead our girls to make decisions and tell their friends to put their phones away when they're driving."

County police officer Stephanie Ihrig said that she has seen first hand the dangerous if not deadly consequences of distracted driving.

"There's two phone calls that you can make," Ihrig explained, "the one is where you call mom and dad and say, 'Hey I'm in a situation and I need to get home tonight.' Or the other one is, where I say, 'Hey can you please meet me at the hospital? I have your daughter or your son here and it's not looking good.'

Ihrig said that there is a texting and driving policy which prohibits anyone under the age of 21 to use a cellphone in anyway while driving.