Operation Prom Reveals The Dangers of Drunk Driving
LECOM Bradenton students participate in dramatization of deadly crash.

Life is about choices. There are good choices and bad choices.

The annual Operation Prom DUI crash scene dramatizes the bad choice and danger of drunk driving. LECOM Bradenton's Emergency Medicine Club, the Manatee County Medical Examiner and a mother and her paralyzed son warned students at Lakewood Ranch and Bayshore high schools in Bradenton about the worst that can happen when young people mix alcohol or drugs with driving.

LECOM's Lynsey Saraiva is carted off by Manatee County fire rescue and Bayflite personnel.

At Bayshore High, students were exposed to the real life consequences of drunk driving when Monica Costello wheeled her son Ryan onto the football field. Monica Costello wept as she read about how drinking and driving led to the death of Ryan’s best friend and confined Ryan to a wheelchair, unable to speak.

“Although he cannot speak, seeing him in this wheelchair should speak volumes to you,” Monica Costello said. “The last choice Ryan’s friend and he made was such a bad one.”

Manatee County Medical Examiner, Dr. Russell Vega, told the students that the number one cause of death are car accidents, many of which involve drunk driving.

LECOM students wearing bloody makeup and tattered clothing were positioned in and outside two mangled cars. One of the actors was pronounced “dead” at the scene and was taken away in a hearse.

The dialog from a 911 call reporting an auto accident was broadcast over the stadium’s public-address system.

Medical student Anthony Furiato portrays a drunk driving crash victim during Operation Prom.

Members of the participating emergency services agencies drove onto the field in their vehicles to re-create the procedures in extracting the "victims" from the wreckage, rushing them to the hospital and investigating the accident.

A deputy from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office did a field sobriety test on the offending driver, who was taken away in handcuffs. The BayFlite helicopter landed at midfield and flew one of the student-actors out of the stadium.

"We just wanted to give the kids something to think about," said LECOM Bradenton first-year medical student Douglas Haus, who noted that Bayshore's prom is next week.

Participating LECOM Bradenton students also included: Saras Arasu, Lynsey Saraiva, Case Newsom, Lauren Kinley, Shannon Powell, Amy Karaniewsky, Anthony Furiato, Faizul Hussain, Tracey Shipe, Darragh Cullen, Ryan Bierkortte and Daniel Kaplan.

May 8, 2009
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