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On April 12-13, students at Jesse M. Bethel High School were shown a reenactment of a vehicle accident that left one student dead and others injured. The driver was ultimately arrested for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

The simulation took place as part of Every 15 Minutes, a National Program that teaches students the danger of drinking and driving. National statistics show that someone is killed or seriously injured in an alcohol-related car accident every 15-minutes.

Emergency responders from the Vallejo Police Department, Vallejo Fire Department, California Highway Patrol and Medic Ambulance took part in the real-life simulation.

Students who participated continued their experience with trips to the morgue, emergency room, and to the police department jail.

The car accident is part of a two-day program where a pre-selected student will “die” every 15-minutes on campus throughout the day which represents the toll from fatal drunken driving accidents.

According to the Every 15-Minutes website, the “Grim Reaper” calls students who have been selected from a cross-section of the entire student body out of class. One student is removed from class every 15 minutes.

A police officer will immediately enter the classroom to read an obituary which has been written by the “dead” student’s parent(s) – explaining the circumstances of their classmate’s demise and the contributions the student has made to the school and the community.

A few minutes later, the student will return to class as the “living dead,” complete with white face make-up, a coroner’s tag, and a black Every 15 Minutes T-shirt.

The students will be taken through an audio – visualization of their own death. Then each student will write a letter to his or her parents.

Parents are also asked to write similar letters.

This powerful program is designed to create an awareness among students that they are not invincible. This program helps open the emotional doors, and it They  experience first hand how their actions affect the lives of so many other people.

With funding available from the California Office of Traffic Safety, the California Highway Patrol provides mini-grants to schools and organizations wanting to implement the Every 15 Minutes program.

For more photographs of the event, please visit the Vallejo City Unified School District Facebook Page.

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