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Murrieta Valley Students Witness Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Students portrayed the drivers, passengers, critically injured and "deceased victims" in the mock fatal DUI accident.

Students at Murrieta Valley High School were reminded of the grave dangers of drinking and driving Wednesday when the Murrieta Police Department, in conjunction with the Murrieta Fire Department, American Medical Response and other local emergency response agencies, kicked off the annual "Every 15 Minutes" program.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors viewed a mock fatal DUI accident take place on their campus. Numerous police, fire and ambulance personnel responded to the mock accident with lights and sirens. A Mercy Air Life Flight helicopter also landed on school grounds to airlift one of the "critically injured" students to a trauma center.

The re-enactment of the crash caused by a "drunk" teen driver demonstrates the serious social costs and often tragic personal consequences of drinking and driving, according to Murrieta police Sgt. Robert Anderson, who coordinates the local "Every 15 Minutes" program.

Students portrayed the drivers, passengers, critically injured and "deceased victims" in the mock accident.

"This emotionally charged program is designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol and using drugs," Anderson said. "The powerful program challenges students to think about drinking and drugs, safe operation of their automobiles, personal safety, and the responsibility of making mature decisions."

The program concludes with a mock "funeral" for the victims of the accident during an assembly at 11 a.m. Thursday at the school. Afterward, the students who had roles in the crash and its aftermath will be reunited with their family and friends.

"Every 15 Minutes" is a nationally-recognized program that is held on a rotating basis at the city's three comprehensive high schools. Sponsored by local businesses, it is typically held just prior to the start of prom and graduation season.

Krystina April 17, 2013 at 10:23 PM
This is such an important program. I took a part in it at Chaparral in 2009 as one of the "Walking Dead". It was the most touching program of my entire life and to this day it has made a huge impact on my life. For all of the students at Murrieta Valley who have participated in it today, it will become one of most touching programs you will ever participate in. It will leave a lasting impression on you for years to come. It did for me and I am truly thankful for that opportunity. Thank you Temecula and Murrieta for putting this program on for students to take part in and to give opportunities to the entire schools to learn the dangers of drinking and driving. ~Krystina CHS Class of 2009!!
Deanna Peterson April 18, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Every high school in all areas should host one of these mock situations. Students when they get behind the wheel, even some from excellent families, get carried away with trying to impress peers, and make bad decisions as a driver, and cause sometimes fatal accidents. They let themselves get distracted. My heart sunk when I saw my beautiful granddaughter play the fatal victim, going through the windshield. I pray it made an everlasting impression on her so she will always be a very responsible and careful driver. Victim's Grandmother

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