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Scared Straight? Hackensack Prom Season Off To Serious Start

The annual demonstration came with a twist Tuesday morning. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
HackensackUMC's AirMed One lands at the high school during the simulation.
HackensackUMC's AirMed One lands at the high school during the simulation. Video Credit: Cecilia Levine
AirMed One -- the chopper from Hackensack University Medical Center -- flew in to collect the injured. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
"The message we want kids to get is: Besides impaired driving, distracted driving is also dangerous," said Iris Koonan, a student assistance counselor. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
One of the teen actors who portrayed a victim in the crash. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
City responders played the scene with conviction, from when police and firefighters arrived to all that happens next in such a crash. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

Students gathered outside of Hackensack High School early Tuesday for the annual demonstration by emergency responders of what could happen in a deadly prom-time crash -- only this year there was a twist.

"The message we want kids to get is: Besides impaired driving, distracted driving is also dangerous," said Iris Koonan, a student assistance counselor.

Each year, city firefighters, police, EMS and other responders show the students the consequences of drunk driving.

Tuesday morning's "crash," however, occurred when youngsters on the way to their prom looked up to take a selfie and crashed into another car.

One of the high school "victims" was thrown through the windshield. Heavy-duty equipment was needed to cut the others from the wreckage.

AirMed One -- the chopper from Hackensack University Medical Center -- then flew in to collect the injured.

"The importance of the drill gives the senior class a real-world experience what can happen," Hackensack Fire Capt. Justin Derevyanik said.

It shows students, he said, that "certain actions can affect the rest of their lives and the lives of others."

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