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Fake crash makes a real impact

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WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- Students at Whiteville High got a dose of reality Monday as they watched one of their classmates die in a car accident. The car crash was only pretend, but it made a real impression.

The graphic scene was part of Vehicle Injury Prevention for a Very Important Person, or VIP for a VIP, a group based in Greensboro who's mission is to bring the sights, sounds and smells of a fatal accident to teens across the state.

Students sat in shock as they watched a fellow teen get pulled out of a car he had just wrecked into a tree. The students learned it takes less than a second to lose your life if you hit a tree at 55 miles per hour without a seat belt on.

The goal of VIP for a VIP is to show explicitly that every choice has a consequence. They focus on choices like drunk driving, texting while driving, racing and not wearing a seat belt.

"Oh, my heart, it was just broken, just seeing everything, just knowing this could happen to me or my friends," Whiteville High student Candra Freeman said. "It was just terrible, and I'm going to keep safe, and I'm going to encourage everybody else to."

The reenactment is typically done before proms, when students are more likely to get behind the wheel drunk or distracted.

Whiteville High's prom is Friday, and emergency managers from all over the area are ready but hoping the fake accident does not turn into a horrible reality.

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