E15M Profile: For Michael Vaughan, acting “live” wasn’t hard

Kathryn Brandi

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After watching his older sister “die” in Every 15 Minutes his freshman year, senior Michael Vaughan was “intrigued by it.” He felt that it was important to experience Every 15 Minutes for himself, so he volunteered to play the role as the minorly injured character in the car crash scene.

Senior Michael Vaughan played the role of a minorly injured character in Every 15 Minutes 2015. Credit: Rachel Horiuchi/The Foothill Dragon Press

Senior Michael Vaughan played the role of a minorly injured character in Every 15 Minutes 2015. Credit: Rachel Horiuchi/The Foothill Dragon Press

After watching his older sister “die” in Every 15 Minutes his freshman year, senior Michael Vaughan was “intrigued by it.” He felt that it was important to experience Every 15 Minutes for himself, so he volunteered to play the role as the minorly injured character in the car crash scene.

Although Vaughan was nervous before the accident scene, he was more excited to see how the acting involved in the scene would work.

“[It was] not really [hard to stay in character] because there was so much real stuff around like the ambulances, the sirens, the car was legit,” Vaughan said. “I feel like it was harder in the scene where Lauren and I were talking. But staying live wasn’t too bad at all actually.”

It took Vaughan by surprise when they placed him on the stretcher and into the ambulance, treating him as though it were a real accident. At that point in the simulation, he began to feel it was real.

Vaughan wanted the students to act as if it was real while watching the accident and to “take it seriously.” 

“I hope kids act emotionally and I say that not in a bad way, but I want them to understand that this is what would exactly happen at an actual crash scene,” Vaughan said.

 

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Friend and senior Aidan O’Sullivan was emotional throughout the Every 15 Minutes experience.

“It’s super super sad to think about like how some stupid mistake like drinking and driving could possibly end like Michael’s life or anyone’s life like that, you know, and I don’t think it’s worth it at all,” O’Sullivan said.

Vaughan became emotional himself when California Highway Patrol Officer Anthony Pedeferri spoke at the “funeral.”

“That was really powerful […] That started to get me like tearing up a bit and I think, I was looking around and saw everyone else as they started to cry too and it was just really powerful,” Vaughan said .

Vaughan has never been involved in a drinking or distracted driving accident but has known people “deeply affected by it” and hopes people will realize that accidents like this happen.

“[I] just hope [people] won’t say, ‘It won’t happen to me,’ because it can,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan believes that everyone who participated in or watched the simulation was impacted by it.

“The whole point of this is to raise awareness that it’s not safe to drink and drive or just drive distracted,” Vaughan said. “ I was just given so much more knowledge of driving drunk, driving distracted, [and] driving high, and it was a really good experience.”  

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