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Henderson High School Mock Crash

 Emergency personnel treat student actors during Henderson's Mock Crash  Henderson's junior class hear from Dr. Sherlock during Mock Crash

The sky over Henderson High School was dark and gloomy the morning the junior class witnessed one of West Chester Area School District’s most impactful presentations – Mock Crash.

Fake blood, shattered glass, and twisted metal littered a parking lot outside of the school during the presentation which included student actors, and emergency personnel, making the scene as realistic as possible.

Mock Crash is designed to reinforce the dangers of drunk and distracted driving. The presentation is usually held prior to prom season, which tends to see a spike in teen automobile accidents.

“It’s human nature to make mistakes, we all do it,” said Dr. Jason Sherlock, principal of Henderson High School. “But, this is one mistake that can cripple a community for a long time. Please, make wise decisions. Look out for one another.”

Following Mock Crash, students heard an impactful presentation from representatives of State Farm and Main Line Health.

“I, as a parent, would much rather get that 3 a.m. phone call saying ‘Mom, I made a poor decision. I’m drunk,’ rather than visit you in a funeral home,” said Lisa Eckenroad from Main Line Health. Her words hit home when the audience of typically energetic teens remained quiet.

Nancy Ellis, from State Farm, who sponsors Mock Crash, talked about how teenagers are more at risk for automobile accidents, especially during their first year of driving.

“Automobile accidents are the number one killer of teens. However, we believe it is also preventable.”

Students also heard from Daniel Perrino, who narrowly survived a drunk driving accident in 2009. Perrino, along with his father, David, shares his cautionary tale with high school students across the area through Bryn Mawr Rehab’s Cruisin’ Smart Program.

Daniel described how he went from being a football star at Garnet Valley High School to learning how to walk again after being on life support.

“I was doing well in school. I was like most kids my age. Life was great.”

Daniel pointed out that his one poor decision flipped his life and the life of his family members upside down.

“Please learn from my mistake. Don’t do what I did. Think about your choices and the possible outcomes. Think about your responsibilities to yourself, your friends, and your family. Your decisions affect many other people besides yourself.”

Henderson High School would like to thank the following for their participation in Mock Crash: West Chester Fire Company, West Chester Police Department, Good Fellowship Ambulance, Paoli Hospital, State Farm Insurance, Bryn Mawr Rehab Cruisin Smart, and the Chester County Coroner's Office.

 Please click here for a video recap of Henderson's Mock Crash.

*This article and video were written and edited by Gracie Cleveland, WCASD communications intern.