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Simulations give glimpse of crash aftermath

Every 15 Minutes program culminates today at Canyon High School

Posted: November 15, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 15, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Mock collision victim and Canyon High student Sage Walsh, 16, is removed from the wreckage of a simulated car collision due to drunk driving in front of Canyon High School during the Every 15 Minutes program on Thursday. Photo by Dan Watson.

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Drama met a stern life lesson Thursday at Canyon High School as a production of “Every 15 Minutes” encouraged students to live the devastating experience of a drunken driving-related death on city streets.

The emotionally charged program exposes students to a realistic-looking mock collision that results in one participant jailed and one or more others dead, according to the scenario.

Realistic effects are created through the participation of actual firefighters, paramedics, sheriff’s deputies and other first-responders who haul away the mock wounded and dead and arrest a mock suspect for the collision.

The two-day event will culminate today with an assembly at which local residents who have seen family members killed in DUI collisions will share the impact on their lives.

A visit to the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Grove is included, where young people whose lives were cut short by drunken or reckless driving are memorialized with a barren stump, each representing a promising life cut short.

Every 15 Minutes is conducted at local high schools on a rotating basis in a bid to “dramatically instill teenagers with the consequences associated with drinking alcohol, reckless driving and life choices,” according to a news release about the event. “The program will challenge students to think about personal safety and the responsibility of making mature decisions.”

Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the California Highway Patrol and the city of Santa Clarita.

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