Mock Crash

Aliso Niguel High School recently performed a “mock crash” for the juniors and seniors of the school in order to demonstrate the negative effects of driving under the influence. The presentation occurred on Friday, Jan. 20, and featured an acted-out scenario of a car crash caused by drunk student drivers after Winter Formal. This reenaction was fit with real law enforcement officers and first responders, along with Aliso Niguel students playing acting roles in the crash. 

The mock crash consisted of two already-crashed cars placed in the street, with actors playing victims of the accident running through a realistic interpretation of what would happen.

The junior and senior students gathered around the cul-de-sac at the bottom of Wolverine Way to witness the mock crash. The event started with audio of the performers moments before the crash, followed by stagehands revealing the wreckage. Multiple student actors, in full makeup, pretended to be dead from the wreck, while others enacted the panic that would follow a drunk driving crash.

When asked about his role as the drunk driver in the enactment, student Jacob Mailman (12) had this to say: “We didn’t get much prep before the crash, but once we were there, it felt a lot more real in the moment. Everything really fell into place, and it all became natural.”

The surviving characters in the enactment called the police, resulting in real squad cars driven by real officers driving down Wolverine Way and onto the scene. Those officers acted alongside the students, with firefighters and paramedics following them. The firefighters cut open the door of one of the wrecked cars to save a student trapped inside, and the paramedics used real tools to simulate rescuing a car crash victim.

An actress playing one of the dead student’s moms came in as well, simulating the real anguish that a parent would feel after seeing their child die in an accident like this. Following this, Jacob, playing the drunk driver, was handcuffed and put in the back of one of the police cars, effectively ending the scenario.

Once the mock crash scenario was over, the dead students were memorialized, with a voice-over explaining the bright futures that they could have had. Afterward, a police officer made a speech about the effects of drunk driving, including personal testimonials.

The purpose of this activity was to inform students about the danger of drunk driving to scare them away from ever attempting it, as the consequences can be deadly. Students reacted in various ways during the activity, ranging from shock to laughter. Our principal, Mr. Hatcher, said a few words at the very end of the demonstration, informing students that he hoped they had taken away something of value after watching. The students of ANHS showed various responses to that request.

When asked if the mock crash made them less likely to drive drunk, students Aaron Capraz (12) and Brett Wagner (12) said “yes, it did.”

Most students have varying opinions on the mock crash, with Coco Nakamura (12) saying “at times I was crying, at times I was laughing.”

Regardless of the student’s reactions, it is safe to say that the mock crash had good intentions. Ms. Nero, activities director and a main organizer of the demonstration, had this to say on whether or not she thinks the crash event will influence the students.

“We hope that even if the presentation makes a difference for one, it will positively affect them and all others that they know, through the harsh reality that it displays.”

Ms. Nero’s sentiments are shared by most faculty and demonstrate the reason why the mock crash was performed in the first place.