Eureka Students Watch Operation Prom Night Car Crash

Students at Eureka High School will be celebrating prom this weekend, but before the fun, the students had their eyes opened to the consequences of drinking and driving.

The students watched as their fellow peers performed in a re-enactment of a car crash caused by drinking.

OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute planned Operation Prom Night to show teens the dangers.

Morgan Green, one of the scene actors, said she hopes it sticks with the students.

“It will really leave a lasting impression seeing their classmates in this situation,” Green said.

At the scene, two cars were mangled, one student trapped, and another laying on the hood of a car, bloodied.

1470 & 100.3 WMBD/Kristina Leahy

One student fumbles around, claiming he only had two beers, and a mother comes out seeing her daughter lying on the hood of the car.

Police, EMT’s, firefighters, and the Woodford County Coroner  came and showed the students what happens at a fatal crash scene.

Nathaniel Aikman, a Junior, sat in the crowd. He said seeing his peers act out the scene made it even more real.

“I think this was really good for a lot of people to see,” Aikman said.

1470 & 100.3 WMBD/Kristina Leahy

After a hearse took away the “victim,” and the “drunk driver” was arrested, the actors sat with Tony Hofmann, who in 2013, was involved in an accident due to drugs and alcohol.

“I definitely did think that I was invincible, and that is a main part of my story,” Hofmann said.

Because of that accident, he suffered severe brain damage and had to re-learn how to walk, talk, eat, and live a daily life.

The driver of that accident is serving an eight year prison sentence, and another passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hofmann said he likes to attend events like this, and share his story.

“I just want to show the kids that there is so much more to life than alcohol and drugs and to just be high on life,” Hofmann said.

1470 & 100.3 WMBD/Kristina Leahy

Lisa Maynard with OSF HealthCare Neurological Institute said the expressions of the students show that they understood how serious the situation is.

“As I was watching their faces, at first I saw a few little smiles or smirks,” Maynard said. “But it did seem that as the crash re-enactment progressed that the faces became more sober. Just from viewing their faces, I would assume that it had an impact on them.”

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