Neither the death nor the damage was real, but the message – Don’t drink and drive – was, and it was powerfully delivered by and to a group of high school students earlier this week.

Louisiana State Police Troop C joined with the Houma Fire Department, Terrebonne General Medical Center and Acadian Ambulance to stage the mock crash, using actors who are students at Houma Christian School.

The story of a drunken teen causing a crash that kills one of his friends was played out for the students, but it’s a tale that repeats itself far too often in real life as well.

“This is what it looks like,” said Senior Trooper Jesse LaGrange. “The last fatal crash I investigated was a 19-year-old who was drinking and speeding. It was a horrible thing to tell his mom if he had been wearing a seat belt he would be still here today.”

That’s something all teens – and the rest of us too, for that matter – need to know. Drinking and driving, along with wearing seat belts are decisions we make that can save or cost lives. And to see displayed in front of them had to leave a lasting impression on these students.

“We need you guys to make the right decisions and avoid those crashes in the future,” LaGrange said. “We’re always trying to get those numbers down. When you’re out there you see the troopers working and enforcing the laws. But we can only do so much. We need your help. If you take that driver that’s been drinking or impaired off the road for us, they don’t have to go to jail or get involved in a crash. It’s all preventable.”

LaGrange is right. The police are limited in their ability to change people’s actions. They can catch some of the people who drive dangerously, but they have to rely on us to change our behavior, preventing those situations in the first place.

Let’s hope their message to these students was received and shared. Students can take actions to keep impaired drivers off the roads, preventing the disasters that occur so tragically often.

Well done to all the agencies that took part and to the students who had a hand in delivering the performances. Let’s all resolve to keep our roads safe by making the right decisions.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.