Superintendent Winfried Feneberg
114 Cougar Court
New London, NH 03257
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Kearsarge Regional High School Holds Mock DUI Crash for Students to Illustrate Dangers of Impaired Driving Ahead of Prom
NEW LONDON — The track outside Kearsarge Regional High School looked a little different today. A totaled car sat parked on the turf with three student actors inside. A dummy lay on the ground, representing a life lost. Although not real, it appeared as though a serious motor vehicle crash had occurred. As the scene unfolded, students who came outside to watch a corresponding demonstration were reminded about the dangers of impaired driving in anticipation of the junior prom this weekend.
At 10 a.m., Kearsarge High School, in conjunction with the Sutton Police Department and first responders from Sutton Fire and EMS, put on a mock car crash for students in grades nine through 12.
Students filed into the bleachers and a skit began with sophomore Shane Boucher, of Sutton, pacing furiously outside the crashed car while on the phone with 911. Two passengers remained unconscious in the backseat of the vehicle, while another (the dummy) lay motionless on the track after being ejected from the front passenger’s seat.
Representatives from the Sutton and New London Police Departments arrived on scene, who began assessing the patient on the track, followed by the Sutton Fire Department, Sutton Rescue and the New London ambulance, which tackled extricating the two passengers from the backseat of the car.
“No pulse on this one, no pulse!” shouted New London Lt. Officer Emily Cobb as she assed the victim on the ground.
Police also performed a field sobriety test on Boucher, who failed, and was placed in handcuffs to be taken into custody.
“I saw some shock and disbelief,” Boucher said while he was performing in the skit. “To be sitting in that car, to be responsible for that heavy of a thing, I just can’t imagine it.”
“Hopefully it hit home for kids,” added Shelly Boucher, Shane’s mother, who came for the presentation and couldn’t help feeling emotional despite knowing the crash wasn’t real. “Seeing that car, that could be them sitting there at the mercy of firefighters.”
Students then glanced to the sky as they heard the propellers overhead. Within minutes, a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team helicopter landed on the grass nearby and medics rushed over to transport one of the passengers following extrication. The other passenger was loaded into an ambulance to be transported to a nearby hospital.
To conclude the mock crash, a hearse from Chadwick Funeral Service arrived to pick up the ejected victim, who was declared dead on scene.
Students then moved into the auditorium, where they watched a video made by the Sutton and New London Police Departments to show a behind the scenes look at what happened to Boucher following the crash.
After being transported to the New London Police station, Boucher had his blood drawn to test his blood alcohol content, was fingerprinted and informed of his charges: negligent homicide and aggravated driving while intoxicated.
Unable to make his $2,000 bail, Boucher was taken to a cell until his court date the following morning. Students were left with the image of him alone and upset in jail.
“I thought it was cool to show what a real situation would be like and how bad the crash and charges could be,” said sophomore Aidan McCullough, of New London, following the presentation. “This could happen to people in our school.”
Sutton Police Chief Jonathan Korbet, who has been working since February to organize the demonstration, spoke to students about the importance of never getting behind the wheel impaired or being in a vehicle where the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He also took time to answer several student questions.
“With junior prom this weekend, we felt the mock crash was timely and really important for students to experience,” Chief Korbet said. “If we can impact a handful of kids, then we did what we wanted to do.”
Superintendent Winfried Feneberg would like to thank the first responders and emergency personnel for their work on the mock crash.
“We have strong community partnerships where everyone works together, and you really see it at events like today,” Superintendent Feneberg said. “It’s all seven towns coming together to get an important message across to students.”
To view a video of the entire mock DUI crash, click here.
To view the video students watched in the auditorium detailing Boucher’s arrest, click here.