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Students at Great Lakes high school get crash course in safety

Published on

Jake Romphf

High school students entering prom season were given a graphic reminder about poor decision-making last week.

Sarnia Police dropped a smashed car outside Great Lakes Secondary, and inside students heard the first-hand accounts of two speakers maimed and nearly killed by mixing alcohol and carelessness.

Chatham native Andrew Crawford said he was 19 when he got in a car with a drunk driver.

The vehicle rolled and struck an electrical box. He was electrocuted, suffered skull and brain damage, numerous broken bones and lost a right hand finger.

“I assumed it was a good decision I made that night and the results were catastrophic,” said Crawford, whose visit was facilitated by Impact, a London-based group that tries to help students make informed decisions about impaired driving, drugs and alcohol.

He said he hoped his story would make others think twice.

“(These students) are coming up on that age where we never think about the decisions we make, we just assume they’re all good ones,” said Crawford.

“I think it’s much more impactful that here I am, this is what I am, this is who I am now.”

The Impact presentation stressed the need for safe alternatives to get home when drinking, and to be responsible for friends and others.

Great Lakes vice principal Caroline White said the message was timed to help students stay safe at this time of prom parties, graduation parties and looming summer vacation.

The damaged car parked in front of the school was a visual reminder of what can happen, said Sarnia Police Sergeant Marc Toutant.

“It’s a way to make a statement to say this is what happens in real life. If you make some bad decisions, you could get hurt.”

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