Students learn the importance of smart driving choices.


BURNT HILLS (WRGB) - Students at Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake High School are learning the importance of making smart and safe choices behind the wheel.

Junior and Senior students attended a "Drive Safe" assembly Wednesday morning, ahead of prom weekend and graduation season.

"The goal is to have everyone who leaves for prom on Friday, to make it back to school Monday." High School Principal Tim Brunson said. He said he understands it's a time of celebration, but the teenagers need to understand the importance of being responsible.

Students heard from families who lost their loved ones in drunk driving accidents. They explained the accident and how it’s impacted their lives.

Michael and Regina Stewart recounted their personal tragedy. Their son Christopher Stewart & his friend Deanna Rivers, two Shen students, were killed by an impaired, reckless driver in December 2012.

“Our reason for advocating and educating is so that this doesn't happen to another family, not on either side of it - we don't want them to be the victim but we also don't want them to over drink or do anything that impairs them and have them get behind the wheel.” Regina Stewart said.

Maureen Moore shared a similar, painful story. Her sister Amy Stock was killed in 2015 by drunk driver. Amy's crumpled car is now the center of a traveling memorial that puts the lesson right in front of your eyes.

“It can happen to anyone.” Maureen Moore said about her message to students. “Drinking and driving is a choice, it's not an accident. The accident is the result of their choice.”

Junior and Senior students say the shocking stories and visuals painted a clear picture.

“I knew some of the victims in the Shen crash and seeing the images of the car up against the tree completely destroyed was terrifying.” Hailey Aldrich said after the assembly.

“It was emotional and I thought of my parents and if that was ever me, and it was just really powerful.” Ian Burns said.

The students also checked out interactive exhibits that showed the dangers of distracted or impaired driving.

High school leaders say they like to give these presentations every year for the upperclassmen.