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E15M Preview: Drunk driving simulation to take place next week

Chloe Hilles

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Every 15 Minutes is a two-day simulation that will take place on Nov. 23 through 24. The national event raises awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence and texting while driving.

Alumna Marnie Vaughan ('12) played the part of a critically injured victim in Foothill's Every 15 Minutes simulation held in 2012. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Alumna Marnie Vaughan (’13) played the part of a critically injured victim in Foothill’s Every 15 Minutes simulation held in 2012. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Every 15 Minutes is a two-day simulation that will take place on Nov. 23 through 24. The national event raises awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence and texting while driving.

“Every 15 minutes someone dies from a drunk driving accident or from getting hit by a drunk driver,” senior Emily Marostica, Every 15 Minutes student coordinator, explained.

Day one is a car crash simulation that the juniors and seniors observe. Foothill students play the roles of the four people in the accident. There will be one person dead at the scene, one with a minor injury, one with a major injury and the fourth person is the distracted driver. The names of the actors will not be released until the event occurs.

California Highway Patrol is expected to treat this staged accident as they would react to any other distracted driving accident. Local businesses have been alerted about the simulation to prevent panic.

Also on the first day, names will be announced over the intercom every 15 minutes to represent how many people die everyday from a distracted driving accident, hence the name Every 15 Minutes. These “living dead” students will have no contact with any other students or parents for the next 24 hours.

While that is occurring, freshmen and sophomores will be in their classrooms watching a video from a past crash simulation.

Day two consists of a funeral for the “deceased” student(s) where friends and family will read eulogies for him or her.

 

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“[The students] should definitely take it very seriously […] They need to be aware of how sensitive everyone is going to be and if they see someone sitting around and they look really distraught and sad, just go up and give them a hug,” senior Cody Clark, Every 15 Minutes student coordinator and Associated Student Body (ASB) president said.

“It’s a very real thing [distracted driving] that students need to be aware of,” Clark said.

Every 15 Minutes was first organized in 2008 by a student with the help of staff and teachers. The event took place again in 2010 and 2012 but did not occur in 2014 due to lack of time and resources.

BioScience teacher Darcy Duffy previously organized the event and is co-head of the event this year with teacher Anthony Unchangco. Science teacher Macie Vega is also contributing to putting on the event.

Unchangco decided to take on the program last year after Marostica and Clark expressed passion for the program. Unchangco remembered an incident that affected him, and did not want to see “any of our students” go through that same experience. Unchangco decided to take the lead role in organizing Every 15 Minutes with Duffy mentoring.

 

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Marostica hopes that students will “have an open mind to [the simulation]” because the “event can really change some people’s lives.”

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E15M Preview: Drunk driving simulation to take place next week