By DAVID MAY
BROCK – For about two hours Thursday morning, hundreds of Brock ISD students received a lesson in harsh reality.
They listened to tragic stories, received the statistics and saw graphic images displayed on a large screen inside a darkened and somber high school gym that had many wiping away tears.
The event was a “Shattered Dreams” presentation to the district’s eighth through 12th graders. It actually began with the school day’s first bell as every 15 minutes a student was pulled from a classroom by the grim reaper, symbolizing a person killed by drunk or distracted driving. Those students wore black with their faces painted ghostly white, carrying white crosses as they were led into the gym.
This past Saturday, a group of students, parents, area firemen and EMS personnel including Air Evac Lifeteam and Department of Public Safety personnel, acted out on video a grisly two-vehicle wreck. The students were depicted as out partying and drinking. Talking, listening to music and texting on their phones while driving, their car slammed into another vehicle.
The video showed the injured students inside their wrecked car, and one student who was dead, played by BHS senior Abbey Drillette. Her coffin was placed in the gym. The driver in the video, Brock senior Jack Palmer, was led teary-eyed and handcuffed into the gym by DPS Senior Trooper Earl “Dub” Gillum and placed on a stool in front of the coffin.
Emotions in the gym peaked as Abbey’s mother, Amy, read a eulogy for her lost daughter. Abbey sat nearby holding a cross, tears streaming down her face as her mother struggled to read aloud her written words. Jack also wept as he imagined how real it could all be, thankful in the end that it wasn’t.