Local News

Wakefield Student Hopes To Spur Safe Driving For Teens

Posted May 12, 2006

— Facing tragedy is all too familiar at Wakefield High School, where several students have lost their lives in car crashes this year. One student is trying to do something about it before it happens again.

People filled a Raleigh cemetery Friday as they shot a public service announcement that will air on local television and in the movies for the next six months. Their location was symbolic, and their message was clear: Drinking and driving is not the cool thing to do.

"The payoff is going to be: When this is shown, if somebody, whether it be one person or a lot of people, they see this and it makes them think twice before making a bad decision," said Wakefield High senior Chris Creech.

Creech is the driving force behind the 30-second production, and he has personal motivation.

"Four guys that I knew at our high school (have) died because of a drinking and driving incident," he said. "And I thought that I could use some of my talents to help other people maybe make a better decision, and not make that choice."

It's just the latest attempt to get through to young drivers. In April, students at Wakefield High witnessed a mock crash scene following the deadliest month on the road the school has ever had.

"It's near and dear to all of our hearts, especially after the Wakefield incidents and a number of recent incidents in Wakefield and Apex," said parent Mitch Packett. "It's something that obviously hits close to home."

The Apex incident was just last week, when a 16-year-old died in the passenger seat of her boyfriend's car. Alcohol and speed were involved.

"When I heard about the Apex accident, I was very mad at the driver for letting it happen," said student Ryan Packett. "You know, especially after the Wakefield thing. It seems like people would learn their lesson by now."

The Apex crash could have been worse, had three students not gotten out of the car before it happened. In all, Wakefield lost five students this year. The last was senior Ashley Riggsby, who died in a crash on Falls of the Neuse Road.


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