Simulation drunk driving accident shows students the dangers of driving while impaired


A simulation drunk driving accident put 11th and 12th graders in the middle of a crash scene, emphasizing the dangers of driving while impaired. Seniors Andres Carrasco, Chloe Wiley, Ka’Nya Townsend and Elian Garcia played victims, and a Grim Reaper took students from classes every 15 minutes throughout the day. 

“Every Fifteen Minutes” is a program dedicated to teaching high school students about the harms of reckless driving. The name comes from the fact that every 15 minutes, someone dies in a car accident. 

“[Students] can see the real time disasters that can occur if you are not careful with yourself, or if you are under the influence of something while driving,” teaches Marc Hyles said. “I really hope that they took something from it.”

Seniors and juniors came to the back parking lot to witness a staged crash scene. Police, ambulances, coroners and a helicopter came to reenact the course of an incident. 

“I just still find it really sad and personal because I wouldn’t want anything happening to some people that I love,” senior Bianca Mitchell said. 

While the demonstration continued, a real 911 call from a crash played, and a police officer read off statistics about crash scenes, including that one in every four people will be in an accident at some point in their lives.

“I think it’s a good lesson because you know, it’s kind of hard for your parents to teach you if they’ve never been through anything like that,” Mitchell said. “But as [Principal Tam Larnerd] was saying, he’s known kids who have gone through this kind of situation. He’s had to attend their funerals, so I thought that he was the best person to actually explain it.”

The demonstration caused mixed reactions from students who didn’t know what to expect. Word about it was withheld from students to increase the shock value. Some laughed while others cried. 

“I thought it was atrocious because there are so many people making jokes out of a very real situation, and people don’t realize that this can happen to them or somebody very close to them,” senior Karleen Wilson said. “It was so rude.”