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Police and firefighters at a mock car crash in Dalton on Thursday morning designed as a warning to young people about drinking and driving.
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A dummy lies under a sheet stained to look like blood and a hearse from Dery Funeral Home completes the picture.
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Participants got up at 4:30 a.m. to put the scene together in time for buses to arrive at the high school.
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A banner at Wahconah High to bring home the message.

Dalton Mock Car Crash Urges Safe Decisions for Young Drivers

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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The 'driver' of the crashed vehicle is taken away by police as motorists and school buses drive slowly by. Public safety personnel are hoping that it sends a message about bad decisions. 
DALTON, Mass. — It was a tragic scene Thursday morning on Old Windsor Road.
 
A Honda sedan was head-on into a utility pole, its windshield smashed. Alcohol bottles littered the scene. Limbs peeked out from under two bloody sheets. A hearse was parked nearby, ready to take on passengers. 
 
And a young person was taken away in handcuffs. 
 
The incident was both a drill for police and firefighters and a theater in the round for students just down the road at Wahconah Regional High School. 
 
The mock car crash was staged in front of the Water Department to emphasize the importance of making safe decisions before getting behind the wheel.
 
The car was a wreck from LaRochelle Auto Restoration, the hearse from Dery Funeral home, and the victims bloodied dummies.
 
The fake arrest was to show what happens to drunk drivers.
 
"Obviously if we can save one person, that's well worth everyone getting out of bed at [4:30 a.m.] If we can save more than one, that's obviously better," Fire Chief James Peltier said.
 
"But this is all about awareness to make the right decision to probably step back from a potential wrong decision before it becomes life-altering, the awareness for the parents as they drive by to maybe have a conversation with their kids before they go out tonight or tomorrow or Monday or whatever it is, and then realistically to push everyone and have this in the forefront of their mind as they're getting ready for their prom or party or after-party."
 
A banner in front of Wahconah reads "Remember the night, don't regret the night, enjoy prom and stay safe!"
 
The prom is on May 31 and graduation on June 5.
 
Peltier described it as a portable theater as school buses and other traffic going to the high school must slow down to travel past.
 
Police Chief Deanna Strout said this is the first time the town has done such a display but similar demonstrations used to be held at the high school. The departments had planned to do a full demo that incorporated Wahconah's drama club but did not have the space due to ongoing construction.
 
Advance notice was given to the school and the community so that people wouldn't think it was real.
 
Strout and Peltier added that the town's Fire and Police Departments have a great partnership in the interest of public safety. The event was made possible by the various entities that came together for the cause.

Tags: emergency drill,   OUI,   public safety,   

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Goodwill Makes Promotions

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont announced the promotions of Karen Harrington to director of retail operations, northern territory, and Mary Killeen to the position of director of finance.
 
Harrington is the manager of Goodwill's retail store in Bennington, Vermont, a position she has held since 2015. She oversees operations at Goodwill's store in North Adams and Rutland and is a member of the team working on the July reopening of Goodwill's flagship store in Pittsfield. Prior to joining Goodwill, she was employed at the Bennington Museum for 22 years, including 16 years as administrative assistant to the executive director, followed by six years as manager of the museum's gift shop.
 
Harrington attended Southern Vermont College and is a Bennington native. She resides there with her husband Tim, 13 chickens, two ducks and a Labrador retriever. She has two grown children, three grown stepchildren, and ten grandchildren.
 
Killeen, a Pittsfield native and resident, joined Goodwill in 2020 as its senior accountant. With a B.S. in business administration from Stonehill College and many years of accounting experience, she brings expertise in accounting principles and best practices to Goodwill's administrative team. In her new role as director of finance, Killeen will oversee all the day-to-day financial aspects of Goodwill's operations, as well as short- and long-term planning for the nonprofit organization.
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