Every 15 minutes, someone dies as the result of an alcohol-related collision.
Juniors and seniors at Canyon High School got a stark reminder of the dangers of impaired or distracted driving in a special demonstration on Nadal Street at 11 a.m.
Two cars donated by Wolf’s Towing simulated a collision scene, with four victims and a drunk driver.
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and local firefighters responded to the scene, extracting the victims from the vehicles and conducting a field sobriety test on one of the motorists.
Three students were pronounced dead on the scene and one was reported to have died at the hospital.
Standing on a ridge above the scene were several students who had been pulled out of class “every 15 minutes” during the morning, as if they had died in a collision.
Participants in the program will also attend a simulated manslaughter conviction at the Santa Clarita Courthouse, a ceremony at the Youth Grove in Central Park and dinner at a local hotel, where they will hear from community members about real-life alcohol-related tragedies.
Canyon High Principal Mike Kuhlman said that the program is just has hard for the parents and that some said that watching the simulation “hits you like a ton of bricks.”
Senior and ASB member Julie Sloan said that experiencing Every 15 Minutes was life-changing.
“It’s really hard,” she said. “I saw (my friend) yesterday and now she’s gone.”
Senior Cody Canaan described it as eye-opening.
“Anyone can die–people you know,” he said.
Every 15 Minutes is conducted biennially for every William S. Hart Union High School District high school.
And as John Lutz, CHP officer who helped oversee the event, said, “The goal is to save lives.”