Every 15 Minutes – Woodland


Every 15 Minutes – Woodland

I’m Ed Smith, a Woodland personal injury lawyer. I want to tell you about a great program hosted by a local Woodland high school. The program is called Every 15 Minutes and it simulates a fatal drunk driving accident to teach teens about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving.

Details of the “Accident”

On 23 March, the staff at Esparto High School and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) staged a two car accident at an intersection in front of the school. The Madison Fire Department, Esparto Fire Department, and Yocha De He Fire Department all responded to the mock accident alongside CHP officers and a local American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance.

As students watched, the fire departments extracted several student “victims” from the wrecked vehicles. One student was flown to a local hospital in a REACH helicopter while another was transported to the hospital via ambulance.

The emergency crews all wore microphones, so the students watching heard as the first responders called for a coroner over the radio before pronouncing a third student “dead” on the scene. Students later watched as their fellow student was placed inside a body bag.

As the rescue crews treated the “injured” students, cops administered a field sobriety test to the fourth student involved in the accident. The police determined that the student was under the influence of alcohol and arrested him in front of the watching students.

Classroom Component

Throughout the two days of the Every 15 Minutes program, a police officer and someone dressed as the grim reaper entered a different classroom every 15 minutes to remove a student from the class. After the student left, the officer then read the obituary for the student. This signals the loss of a teen every 15 minutes due to drunk or distracted driving.

As the students were removed, the sound of a heartbeat flatlining was played over the intercom, notifying all students that another life was “lost.”

Separating Students and Parents

All of the students pulled from their classes were taken to a retreat overnight and kept separate from their parents. Both the students and their parents were both then asked to write letters to each other to be read at the mock funeral the next day.

Mock Funeral

The program culminates in a mock funeral for the “deceased” student on the second day of the event. The funeral included a casket and speeches by the parents of the “deceased” students. A local fire chief also spoke to the students about real accidents he worked where teens died as a result of drunk driving.

A video package shown at the funeral showed students what happened after the accident. Cameras followed the students being treated in the ER and being entered into the morgue. Cameras also showed the devastation as parents were notified of their child’s involvement in the accident. Finally, cameras followed the fourth student and showed him being booked into the local jail for drunk driving and manslaughter.

Drunk Driving and Teens

The name of the program, Every 15 Minutes, refers to the statistic that a teenager dies in the US every 15 minutes due to drunk driving. These accidents are always devastating and come with many legal issues. Those liable in these accidents can include homeowners and, especially, those that provided alcohol to minors. The Every 15 Minutes program helps reduce these issues by educating teenagers. It is an emotional and highly effective program.

Woodland Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Woodland personal injury lawyer. If you have been injured in a car accident, please call me at (530) 392-9400 for free, friendly advice. Or, call me toll free when dialing long distance at (800) 404-5400.

I have practiced personal injury and wrongful death law exclusively for 34 years.

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I am part of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a group of top-ranking US trial lawyers with multiple million dollar case settlements and verdicts.

Please view my Past Verdicts and Settlements.

Source: Every 15 Minutes – Woodland

Image Attribution: Wikimedia Commons

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