Merrimack students get perspective in mock car crash

Merrimack High School held its annual Mock Crash on Wednesday for the senior class.

The group Students Against Destructive Decisions organizes the crash each year, and this time, the scenario revolved around texting and driving rather than drinking and driving.

I could continue to talk about the day’s schedule and the course of events that transpired that day, but I’d rather share this particular story as a student rather than as a reporter.

Why? I was involved in the crash, and I’d like to share a different perspective. On that day, I decided it was more important to send a quick text message than to keep my focus solely on the road. And in that crash, I killed my best friend.

Yes, I know it wasn’t real. Thank goodness. But when the senior class came outside to watch and the acting began, I couldn’t care less about the fact that 300 people were watching.

With real cars, smoke, and professional makeup, "acting" was the easy part because it felt so real. The hard part was seeing the other actors, my friends, cry while yelling at me about how it was all my fault.

"How could you do this?"

"What were you thinking?"

"Did you really think texting would be worth this? Megan’s dead!"

It was certainly an emotional experience for everyone, actors and audience, and though I didn’t look into the crowd, many students and faculty later shared their own stories about how the Mock Crash left an impression on them.

After the crash, we held a mock memorial for the student whom I had "killed." Megan Murphy‘s picture was displayed at the front of the room, and a fellow student, Riley Clark, had prepared a eulogy.

It was moving and emotional, even though we knew Megan was really just fine. And although it is an intense experience, SADD tries to showcase just how tragic this would be if it was real – and we’ve found that the best way to do this is to present the situation as it would be, even if it’s difficult to go through.

The other moving part of the day, though, was something I had seen gradually unfold since starting to plan the event in November. SADD couldn’t do this event without help from people all over the community, and we appreciate all the hard work and early mornings they put in to make the event powerful and impactful for the students.

It really goes to show how Merrimack is a community willing to come together for the sake of its students and encourage them to make smart decisions on the road.

Emily Duval is a senior at Merrimack High School.