Sequatchie County High School is trying to make it difficult for its students to have a conscious-free drink at prom this year. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, from 2003 to 2008 15% of teens involved in deadly wrecks had been drinking, and the Dunlap, TN school is taking what some consider a drastic measure to combat this disturbing statistic.
Earlier this year, a graduate of Sequatchie County High School was killed when she fell asleep behind the wheel after a night of drinking. Now her family is working with the Dunlap school to display the girl’s demolished car in front of the building as a somber reminder to students of the dangers of drinking and driving. Of the tactic the family said, ‘I want people to remember why she died and why they don’t want to drink and drive… I don’t want any other family to have to go through what we’ve been through.’
And what they’ve been through was tragic. Sunday, Feb. 19th, their 19-year-old daughter and student at Chattanooga State Community College left work at 10pm and despite complaining about being tired went to a party with friends. The exact amount she drank isn’t known, but it was probably compounded by the fact that she was already sleepy. What is known is that her car veered off the road around 2am and struck several mailboxes. Some of the mailboxes were attached to steel rods, and these rods smashed through the windshield and killed the teen.
Although the 19-year-old has been buried, her car will remain as a reminder on the lawn of the school she once attended. A lot of the students don’t like the morbid memento and many have been complaining. But the school sees these complaints as a sign that the demolished car is having an impact and will definitely be on the minds of prom goers before they take a drink and get behind the wheel.
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Source. TimesFreePress.com, “http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/apr/24/b1-mother-shares-her-pain-warns-teens-of-drinking/,” Yolanda Putman, April 24th, 2012.
Source. The Dunlap Tribune, “http://www.thedunlap-tribune.com/content.aspx?module=ContentItem&ID=238941&MemberID=1193,” April 16th, 2012.