Hiram College

Youngsters from high schools in Northeast Ohio got a crash course April 18th on the perils of drinking and driving as Hiram College and safety forces staged the annual  “None 4 Under 21,” event on Hiram’s lower Campus.

None 4 Under 21 is a demonstration for high school students of the serious consequences of drunk driving, and the damage it does to the lives of the drivers, their victims and their families. About 1,600 students from high schools in Portage and Trumbull Counties attended the event.

Activities centered in the Martin Fieldhouse, where the visiting students were shown slides and video of actual accidents and heard testimonials from a convicted of drunk driver. The families of victims of drunk drivers and law enforcement representatives, who also impressed the students with the seriousness of the crime and toll it takes on the lives of everyone involved.

To drive home the messages, the parking lot near the field house was transformed into a realistic crash site, complete with victims, and emergency forces working to “save’’ them.

Hiram President Thomas Chema addressed the teens at the beginning of the program, telling them about the special significance the event has for Hiram. In 2006 two freshmen, Grace Chamberlain, 18, of Kirtland, and Andrew Hopkins, 18, of Warren were killed and another student, Evan Dasilva was severely injured, when a repeat drunk driver went left of center an struck the car in which they were riding, on Rt. 700 near Burton. The drunk driver, James Cline, who had a history of drunk driving was found to have a blood alcohol level several times the legal limit at the time of the accident and was eventually sentenced to 38 years in prison.