News Release

Nursing students to coordinate 'mock fatality' at Ponchatoula High School

Contact: Christina Chapple


     HAMMOND With high school prom season approaching, Southeastern Louisiana University nursing students will stage a “mock fatality” at Ponchatoula High School on April 9 to dramatically emphasize the consequences of drinking and driving.

     Scheduled for 9 a.m. in the PHS football stadium, the event will be coordinated by senior nursing students Tracy Bickford, Dawn Smith and Jennifer Winner of Hammond, Rachel Breath of Ponchatoula, Hayley Allen of Loranger, Nadia Barthelemy of Port Sulphur, Hattie Dobson of Chalmette, and Heather Marcelle of Baton Rouge.  The students selected the mock fatality as their "Capstone Project," a community-based health program required for graduation.

     “This will be the fifth year that Southeastern nursing students have coordinated the annual mock fatality program regarding drinking and driving during prom,” said nursing instructor Terry Compton.

     She said that this year’s program will have its largest audience – juniors and seniors from Ponchatoula High School, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Loranger High School, and Independence High School. 

     Participants include the Ponchatoula fire and police departments, Louisiana State Police, Southeastern theater students, 21st Judicial District Attorney Scott Perrilloux, Hammond City Court Judge Grace Gasaway, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards, Tangipahoa Parish Coroner Mike Foster, Acadian Ambulance, and Geisler Funeral Home.

     Compton said the participants will create a graphic scenario of a prom night crash, complete with mock injuries, emergency response teams wielding the ‘jaws of life,’ grieving parents, and arrests of alcohol impaired drivers by state troopers.

     “One victim will ‘die’ and be taken away in a hearse,” she said.

     Following the rescue, students will hear presentations by Gasaway, Edwards and Perrilloux.

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