West Ranch Students Experience ‘Every 15 Minutes’
Text by Jessica Boyer / Photos by Jeremiah Bergman for HometownStation.com
West Ranch High School students learned the ultimate lesson Thursday when they watched as their classmates simulated death in a drunken driving collision as part of the “Every 15 Minutes” program.
Hundreds of high school juniors and seniors watched as their friends and classmates were pulled out cars that collided head on and put into “body bags.”
“Every 15 Minutes” is a two-day program which demonstrates to junior and senior high school students the impact impaired driving has on friends, family and their community, according to the news release.
Local law enforcement and emergency officials simulated a response to a fatal collision involving a drunk driver Thursday morning while the students watched.
“I believe that Every 15 Minutes is particularly important in this valley because of the extraordinary amount of driving age students in the valley,” said CHP Officer John Lutz, in a previous interview.
Along with the California Highway Patrol, the City of Santa Clarita, the William S. Hart Union High School District and West Ranch High School, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, American Medical Response, Eternal Valley Mortuary, the Hyatt Regency Valencia, and many other community partners and affiliates participate in the simulation.
The Every 15 Minutes program is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to the news release.
Valencia High and Golden Valley High School students participated in the “Every 15 Minutes” program last year.
“The main goal of this powerful, high impact and very emotional program is to educate all individuals regarding the severe dangers awaiting those who make these choices, particularly those related to reckless driving, speed contests, drinking alcohol or using drugs and driving, and now distracted driving and texting,” said officials from the event in a previous interview.
“This emotionally charged program is an event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the consequences associated with drinking alcohol, reckless driving and life choices,” said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, in a previous interview. “The program will challenge students to think about personal safety and the responsibility of making mature decisions.”