You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of those choices. That’s the message Oregon-Davis Middle School language arts teacher Angie Radke shared with high school students there after a mock drunk driving crash in the school parking lot. Radke’s best friend, Brooklyn Boo, was killed by a drunk driver in 1998, a week after their junior prom at North Judson-San Pierre High School.
The driver had been crowned homecoming king the previous fall and is now confined to a motorized wheelchair with limited brain function. A total of three people were killed in that crash. Radke’s husband, O-D teacher and assistant girls basketball coach Wes Radke remembers the day vividly as well. During the mock crash he played the role of the distraught parent who was first to arrive at the crash site. The cut on his arm from trying to wrench the door of one of the cars open, bending the metal frame, is real.
“I want to tell you, if she was in the vehicle, or if this one, those girls I coach, are in those vehicles, I’m going to tear that vehicle apart, because all of you mean something to every person in this room. Don’t think that you don’t matter. Don’t think that your life isn’t precious. Don’t think that it won’t happen to me, not today. It will,” Radke said. He also told the students life can change in an instant.
“I want you to have fun. I want you to enjoy life. Every adult in this room wants you to enjoy life. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. I hope that you’re taking this day seriously,” Radke said.
Oregon-Davis High School students will attend prom this weekend. More photos from the mock crash are posted on the WKVI Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152736916586507.1073741852.369157981506&type=3&uploaded=53.