On Tuesday, April 3, West Jones High School seniors and juniors have the opportunity to watch and learn about the impacts inflicted on the lives of young people when drinking and driving distracted, especially during a time of celebration such as graduation. The event will be held on high school grounds at the football stadium and encompasses the support and participation from several Jones County and Mississippi emergency services, including five of the Jones County Volunteer Fire Departments (Calhoun, Hebron, Soso, Sharon, and Shady Grove), Jones County Sheriff's Department, EMServ Ambulance Service, Jones County Coroner's Office, Jones County District Attorney's Office, Jones County Emergency Management, Memory Chapel Funeral Home, Mississippi Youth Highway Safety Program, Mississippi Highway Patrol, and Rescue 7 Air Ambulance. West Jones High School faculty and students, along with volunteer actors and make-up artists, will also participate in the event.
This year, two vehicles will simulate a head-on collision as a result of a drunk driver. Four West Jones High School students will play the roles of four prom student victims. During the simulation, emergency personnel will extricate some of the students, while Sheriff's deputies will unleash a K9 unit onto the fleeing drunk driver. In order to effectively convey the seriousness of these situations and the ensuing tragedy, one of the teenage victims will be declared dead on arrival, as he was ejected from the vehicle. The other three students sustained injuries ranging from minor to critical, with one of the teens being transported from the scene by Rescue 7 air ambulance. Actors will be playing the roles of frantic and devastated parents and a deceased teenager will be placed in a body bag, then hearse. The others will be prepped for immediate transport to the hospital.
Tragedies like the Prom Promise simulation are far too real. They impact the lives of so many young people and their families every day. Jones County is ranked number five in Mississippi for the most vehicular fatalities. It is our hope that with this simulation, these students will use caution during this time of celebration and stay safe so that their graduation is the first of many exciting and fun events to come.