Sometimes talking to teenagers may not be enough to get your point across. Despite the advice and warnings of parents, teachers and even some friends, apprioximately 3,000 of teens still die every year in drunk driving-related car accidents.
Parent volunteers Nick and Larissa Pokrovsky, of Franklin Lakes, and scores of other volunteers, got together to build a program they hope may convey the very real dangers of drunk driving.
The program at stresses that the decision to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel can affect many more people than just the one who's drinking, according to the organizers.
Students and local first responders volunteered to participate in a 30 minute reenactment of a drunk driving accident and the surrounding events.
Last Thursday two smashed vehicles were placed on Ramapo's front lawn and actors in full stage makeup were placed into the wreckage — a result of a serious drunk driving related accident.
Professional makeup artist Katerine Shoomiloff spent hours before the event began by applying gruesome effects to actors, which made the scene appear indistinguishable from a real car accident.
Local fire fighters used real equipment at the scene to removed the roof of one car and extract an injured passenger.
Officer Mark McCombs of the performed a field sobriety test and arrested one of the teen drivers.
"If this presentation drives it home for one kid, it's worth it," said McCombs before the presentation.
One of the student actors was transported from the scene of the mock accident in a body bag — a stark image for the students looking on.
"I've seen a lot of alcohol-related problems as an RA," said Alex Krueger, a 21-year-old resident assistant at Ramapo College. "If they could just bring these images to college with them, that would be pretty good."
Krueger, along with Michael Gorbenko, acted as Angels of Death during the event.
Following the car crash scene, students moved inside to watch a professionally produced video detailing the aftermath of the accident: its harrowing emotional toll on the injured students' parents, medical professionals in Hackensack University Medical Center's emergency room trying to save a students life, a courtroom scene in which the drunk driver is sentenced to 15 years in prison on 2 counts of manslaughter.
All said, students got to witness in grisly detail two of their peers lose their lives to drunk driving and another be sentenced to prison in the emotionally charged tableau.
"It's been a seven month process," said Nick Pokrovsky. "We're not professionals and we're not doing this for profit. Summer and college are right over the horizon and we're hoping these kids can take some of these sober decisions with them."