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North Prom Promise delivers message about drinking and driving

April 11th, 2014 1:04 am by Rick Wagner

North Prom Promise delivers message about drinking and driving

Sullivan North students look on as rescue personnel extricate an 'accident victim' Thursday. David Grace photo.

KINGSPORT — Sullivan North High School student Tori Kiser paid the ultimate price for another student's drinking and driving on prom night.

But she and the drunk driver who caused the wreck will have a chance for Saturday night's prom to have a much happier ending.

Tori and three other North students were part of Thursday afternoon's Prom Promise dramatization of a single-vehicle prom night accident that sent her to the morgue, one student via helicopter to the hospital and two others to the hospital on a land ambulance.

"That would be really rough on the parents," Tori said of her being zipped up in a body bag and placed in a hearse during the Prom Promise event at North Thursday afternoon. "It was just sad."

Student Matt Duncan was the drunk driver.

"It was rough. I got thrown to the ground and placed in handcuffs," Duncan said.

Accident victim Dylan Fields said the operation to recover the students, using a metal cutter on the car, was "very scary, especially when they started taking off the roof. Glass started shattering."

The victims wore makeup to give them the appearance of wounds, cuts and abrasions from the accident.

Anna Carter, one of the other victims of the crash, said the Prom Promise was an outgrowth of the Battle of the Belts campaign at North. That campaign urges students to sue seat belts every time they get in a vehicle as a driver or passenger.

Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)-Future Health Professionals member Morgan Barton said the Battle of the Belts includes information booths during lunch and a check of seat belt usage as students drive onto campus.

James Caudill, a paramedic with Sullivan County Emergency Medical Service, said EMS, the Kingsport Life Saving Crew, Sullivan County Sheriff's Office, Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department and WellmontOne Air Transport participated in the event.

"People do die and are hurt in (accidents like) this," Caudill said.

James Hagy, a sheriff's deputy who is the school resource officer for North High, said with the school's prom coming up Saturday, Prom Promise was a more effective means of communicating the dangers of drunk driving than simply telling students would could happen.

"We do a visual thing," Hagy said. "It hopefully will have an impact on and stick with them."

Times-News Chief Photographer David Grace contributed to this article.

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