For many teenagers Friday night was prom night – a night they have been waiting for all year.

“It’s very exciting because it gives the grade 12 class one last chance to party together. A celebration of finishing high school,” says Caandra Frigon.

And while these high school students are thinking about their parties and summer vacation – emergency responders want them thinking twice about the consequences of dangerous driving.

That’s why in Newmarket on Friday a mock head-on crash was put on for a group of high school students. The cause is texting and driving and the student’s stunned expressions said it all.

“It’s devastating these things happen every day and to people who don’t deserve it,” says grade 12 studet Brooke Grant.

In the mock crash – five people were involved with one ejected through the windshield. Firefighters have to use the Jaws of Life to free two teens trapped inside with serious injures while paramedics try revive another but are not successful.

“It just takes a second to have life altering consequences. By planning ahead and making sure you get home safely and take a few seconds to think about your decision. These are completely avoidable incidents,” says York Region EMS Superintendent Chris Spearing.

Designed to be as real as possible, the mock exercise was put on by a group trying to prevent tragic crashes among teens.

“The kids that see our message spread it among their circle but we’re still seeing distracted driving and impaired driving and other risky behaviours and those things are on the rise among youth,” says Sara Throne with York Region P.A.R.T.Y.

Witnessing a scenario is one thing but hearing about the consequences from someone who experienced it first hand is another. Ryan Morrison is paralyzed from the chest down after a crash he was involved in 10 years ago. He was on his way to the cottage with friends, they had all been drinking and he shared his story with the students.

“I thought nothing was going to happen to me and it did. Kids think they can do anything you’re not invincible – things can happen very, very fast.”

It’s an experience students say is a wake-up call and one they will never forget.

“Before I came today I didn’t realize how serious it was to be texting and driving and it made me rethink,” says Morgan Ballantyne.

Emergency responders are also encouraging parents to talk to their teens about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving