Texting + driving = deadly consequences
A car crashed had into a tree. A passenger with a bloodied face was unconscious in the front seat.
The scene had the elements of a fatal car accident, but it was all part of a video being produced by students in their Modern Media television production class at Sanborn Regional High School.
Then freshman Jenna Nofsker, 15, of Newton, approached Gray and expressed interest in filming a video about the dangers of texting while driving.
The police and fire departments became involved and agreed to play an active role, bringing in emergency vehicles and personnel to create a dramatic scene that was filmed and will be used in the students’ educational video.
The storyline involved three sisters on their way to school. The oldest sister, played by senior Sarah Boisselle, 17, is behind the wheel and receives several text messages while driving to school. At one point, she decides to look down to check a message and veers off the road and crashes into a tree.
Trina has done some local acting and is the daughter of the high school’s guidance director, Michelle Catena.
The class has produced school-related videos that have been posted on its YouTube channel, but has never filmed a video of this scope, Giuliucci said.
Freshman Sophie Smith, 15, of Kingston, helped spearhead the project with Nofsker. She spent nearly two hours in a bucket on a truck to film angles from the air with help from Kingston police Officer Michael Prescott.
“We’ll have to edit a lot of it,” she said.
The filming affected Boisselle on a personal level. She said her best friend was killed in an accident in Maine last November and was texting and not wearing a seatbelt.
“You feel it more. It’s easier to have that emotion because it’s a child,” said Boisselle, who was later arrested at the scene by Kingston police Sgt. Michael LePage as part of the storyline and charged with negligent homicide.
In addition to Seaman, the department provided six firefighters on a fire engine, three in an ambulance, two in a forestry truck, along with two paramedics from Exeter Hospital.
“I see it personally when I’m driving down the road. I constantly see cars going by me texting. It’s amazing how big of a problem it is,” he said.
“We were able to provide some guidance as to what they could expect at a motor vehicle scene. We’re hoping that this sends a very strong message on how dangerous it is to text and drive. We’re hoping that it sends a very clear message, not only to students, but to the general public,” he said.