Monday, August 2, 2021

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News Release
This information was provided for dissemination to our readers and was edited to comply with Associated Press style and professional journalism standards by Homepage staff.
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The following is a news release from Newport Police Department:

The Newport Police Department conducted a mock impaired driving crash at Newport High School today. The event was organized by School Resource Officer Thomas Lekas and the Newport High School Leadership Team in an effort to convey a message to the student body regarding the dangers of impaired driving.

The Newport High School students gathered in the bleachers surrounding the football field, while listening to prep rally music being played over the loud speakers. The peppy, upbeat music was interrupted with the intense sounds of screeching tires, followed by the crash of metal colliding with metal. At the center of the football field, a mock fatal motor vehicle crash was revealed, depicting the shocking aftermath of a DUII Crash. The students observed their own peers, fellow students from the leadership team, as they played the roles of individuals who fell victim to the deadly crash.

The scenario was narrated by Newport High Leadership students, who gave step by step details of what had occurred, and what first responders were dealing with.  Assistant District Attorney Lynn Howard also relayed the criminal consequences, and impact that impaired driving can bring.

The scenario revealed one of the student drivers was impaired, and under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. The student managed to emerge from the vehicle, appearing to be the only individual unscathed from the marred wreckage.

A 911 call was made by a witness to the crash and the student body heard over the loud speakers, “911, what is your emergency?” First Responders responded to the scene to assess the damage and begin tending to the injured, and investigating the cause of the crash.

Newport Police Officers were first on scene, followed by the Newport Fire Department and then Pacific West Ambulance. Two student passengers in the mock crash were identified as deceased, while others were determined to have sustained life-threatening injuries. The student body witnessed the critically injured transported from the scene by ambulance, and to an awaiting Life Flight Helicopter. The other survivors, with less severe injuries, were stabilized at the scene and transported by EMT’s.

While first responders tended to the injured, an officer investigated the student driver in the mock crash for DUII. After Field Sobriety Tests were conducted on scene, the student driver was handcuffed and taken into custody for DUII.

The mock scenario continued with the students in the mock crash, who were killed as a result of the crash.  The deceased students were removed from the crashed vehicles and transported from the scene

The mock DUII crash concluded with comments from Pamela Briggs, who relayed her story of how a DUII crash affected her family.

The Newport Police Department would like to thank guest speaker, Pamela Briggs and DA Lynn Howard for taking the time to convey the realistic consequences of such actions to the students.

This event would not have been possible without the assistance of all the participants from the community:

Yvonne McNeil at Oregon Impact, Jon at AA Rowley’s Towing, Copeland Lumber, Life Flight, Pacific West Ambulance, the Newport Fire Department and Bateman’s Funeral Home.

Look for additional information and photos following the event to be posted on Newport Police Department’s Facebook page.

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