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Winnsboro students stage car crash to teach peers a lesson


A two-vehicle fatality was staged for some East Texas students who are all too familiar with that kind of tragedy.

Last August, 18-year old Daysha Johnson, a homecoming queen at Winnsboro high school, died when the car she was riding in crashed. The driver of that car, 19-year old Robert Humphrey, Jr, was arrested last week on negligent homicide charges.

On Thursday, there was a dramatized wreck in Winnsboro, which reminded students of the many potential dangers behind the wheel.

Seeing teens pretend they were injured and killed because they were not wearing a seat belt, first responders doing all they can to save lives, a drunk driving arrested, and even a hearse to carry the bodies away may have been a little too real for some students.

"It was crazy. I wasn't expecting it to be that dramatic," Samantha Houston, a Winnsboro senior, said. "It was heart wrenching really."

The crash scene was  staged and put together by a group of students, who say they and their classmates need to be reminded about the many dangers of driving.

"We as teenagers don't think about what we're doing. We're just impulsive and want to have fun," Cassia Rose, Winnsboro senior, said. "I really think that we needed this wake up call."

Although Thursday's wreck was not real,  students say emotions were still there, once they realized the white car that was used belonged to Daysha Johnson. Johnson was not wearing a seat belt when she died in a car crash last year. A seat belt - one thing her mother said may have saved her life.

"Everyone always thinks they're indestructible and that's not reality," Logan Redding, a Winnsboro student, said. "Anything can happen to anybody."

Whether drinking and driving, texting while driving, or not wearing a seatbelt, students say this kind of wreck could be the result.

"It's just really real. I mean, I know this was put on, but that's what makes it so dramatic is that it's not a drama, it is real," Rose said.

"It was very emotional to see your daughter portraying in a car wreck where she had passed away, but I'm very proud of her for putting this on to hopefully open the eyes for some of the kids here in Winnsboro," Tiffiny Jones, a parent on scene, said.

First responders on scene Thursday say they know this staged crash will save lives.

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