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Every 15 Minutes

The accident that shook the school

Every 15 Minutes shows the danger of drunk driving


by Marlee Drake, Copy Editor

As students milled onto the track, silence covered the area in the same manner that the green tarps covered what was in store for everyone there. The so-called “living dead” stood off to the side; each had been pronounced dead in their first periods and an obituary from their parents was read.While some students had an idea of what was ahead of them, there was really no way to prepare for what came next. From underneath one of the tarps, the front of a damaged car jutted out, and two hands just peeked out from the cover. A simulated 911 call broke the tense silence.


And then the tarps were removed.


Chilling screams pierced the air as students got their first glimpse of the wreckage: two cars, both damaged, one with blood smeared along the side and someone limp, hanging out the window, the other with a girl splayed across the front of the car, unmoving, all the while her friend screamed for her from the back seat.


One by one they were pulled from the vehicles and led to the waiting ambulances. Senior Jay Gonzales was evacuated by helicopter, and senior Cassidy Moses, who had been ejected from the vehicle, was laid on the grass and covered, dead at the scene. Firefighters used the jaws of life to remove the top off of one car and reach senior Jena Corea, who was in hysterics through the whole rescue. Junior Sean Knox was arrested on DUI charges and taken away by police. Finally, Moses was placed in a body bag and taken away in a hearse.


All of this was a simulation put on by the Every 15 Minutes program through Friday Night Live. The goal of the mock crash was to show the real dangers of drunk driving with the hope that it will help people make better decisions in the future. While there have been some questions as to whether this is the best way to convey this message, it has left a strong impression on many students who were in attendance.


“This is not a joke. Innocent people die everyday. Death is the most real, non retractable thing,” said junior Maycee Ham, who had to see her boyfriend of four months, senior Jamison Murray, put onto a stretcher and driven away in an ambulance during the mock crash.


“I knew he was ok, but it was scary. I wanted to talk to him, [to] make sure he was ok. I didn’t like watching everyone go through all that pain,” Ham said.
Soon, every one of these students, whether injured, arrested, or killed in the simulation, will return to school.  However, the reality here is that the danger presented is real. Those who were involved in this crash will come back, but when this really happens, not everyone is so lucky.  




by Kalyn Armstrong, Health Editor


You never consider how terrible a choice may seem until you’re standing there, in awe of the destruction one preventable mistake can cause. We assure ourselves that “Oh, nothing tragic would happen to me” and “That’s just something you see in movies” but the reality of it is that our young, inexperienced souls are still in the stages of believing we are invincible.

As I walked into the simulated memorial service, grabbed the program with Cassidy’s familiar face, and found my seat it felt all too real. The idea that one moment she and I were in Anatomy talking about our prom dresses and the next she’s on the hood of a car is devastating-for anyone.

As teenagers on the brink of young adulthood we know the trouble each of gets into-or could get into but no one really talks about it. I mean sure, you hear a “Did you see how drunk she was at so and so’s party?” but it’s never any more detailed than that.

If we all faced reality like the adults we are supposedly becoming you’d think those conversations would have a more concerned tone. Our choices affect others and no matter how much we all want to seem independent, having a blood alcohol content 16 times above the legal limit for an 18 year old is far from being a responsible adult. Experiencing from the third person how fatal a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) accident can be really adds perspective to how I myself will keep in mind the lives others.

A light brown casket with a spray of sunflowers lied upon the casket that every fifteen minutes resembles-the loss of fresh lives.


Photos by  Madecyn Penn, Lauren Wassam, and Coleen Wiest

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