Speaker Shares The Dangers Of Distracted Driving - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Speaker Shares The Dangers Of Distracted Driving

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Prom is coming up this weekend at Fessenden-Bowdon High School, and graduation follows a few weeks later.

With so much to look forward to, administrators and Students Against Destructive Decisions wanted to drive home a sober message with a frightening sight.

Students in grades sixth to 12th filled the Fessenden-Bowdon School auditorium to hear Nathan Backstrom speak on the power of choice.

He says by making the decision to drink and drive, they would be putting lives, including their own, at risk. Backstrom's three oldest sons were killed by a drunk driver in 2004.

"I'm a new driver just driving around and stuff. I don't want to end up in a ditch because getting hit from somebody else," says Deserae Werlinger.

The SADD club worked for months, involving the entire town in a mock drunk driving car crash, which they set up during Backstrom's speech.

"People after this event are going to feel a little sad because they're going to see  some of their friends actually in a car accident there outside. And then we're going back in and kind of do a memorial event for them," says senior Thomas Van Ness. 

Students lined the sidewalk and watched in horror.

"I mean even just watching it knowing that it's fake, I'm already getting really emotional. I mean it would be so hard if this actually happened," says senior Sarah Davis. 

SADD members say the reason for this intense visual is simple.

"We do this so they won't go out and drink and drive, to make dumb decisions and end their future, because I want them to be safe, I want to be safe myself," says SADD member Megan Jones.

"Outside, you know, the blood you see, the sirens going. It's all pretend. But it's very good demonstration of what really happens. The story we tell is real," says Backstrom.

Between hearing about the loss of half a family and seeing friends die in a car crash, administrators and SADD say they hope their point came across loud and clear.

Students weren't given any homework yesterday, so they could reflect on what they saw and heard.

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