COAL TOWNSHIP - Shamokin Area High School students will stage a mock trial Wednesday in which a student will face charges of causing an accident while texting on the way to the prom.

The project is being done this prom season in place of the usual mock accident, said Northumberland County Coroner James Kelley.

The trial will be staged at an assembly in the auditorium for 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students, but the public is also invited. The event starts at 1:30 p.m. and will be over in less than an hour.

Kelley said the 12 to 14 students involved were provided with a script and took off with the project from there. He said they are handling everything and will even dress the part in the case of the judge, police, bailiff and other characters. Props are being created, too.

"The kids are really into it," he said.They've been working on the project for about four weeks.

Kelley said the school's audio-visual department will tape the trial and put it on YouTube. The North Central Highway Safety Network will provide the taping to other schools to use as a teaching aid.

Kelley said Ann Targonski, a county assistant district attorney; Chris Venna, Shamokin Area Middle/High School principal, and Shamokin police patrolman Nate Rhodes are assisting.

He noted the growing concerns about texting causing motor vehicle accidents.