Every Fifteen Minutes Experience


Amanda Quach and Edited by Valerie Alcala

On the first day of the event, a realistic portrayal of a car accident was shown to juniors and seniors.

On Apr. 25 and Apr. 26, California Highway Patrol presented a real-life situation in the upper parking lot where Juniors and Seniors got to witness a fatal car accident due to drunk driving. 15 students also had the opportunity to “pass away” on Thursday where they would be taken from their class and a gong would sound, signifying their death. These events were organized to raise awareness for driving under the influence.

The “deceased” students stood in a sectioned off area, alongside the grim reaper. They were not permitted to speak to anyone.

During the first day of the two-day experience students witnessed the car accident where they got to see how the authorities would handle the situation. The police interrogated the “drunk driver” (Tara Zandi) and had her take sobriety tests, in which she failed, sending her to “jail.” In the other car, a student (Usman Khan) was ejected through the front window where he laid on the hood of the car. Firemen cut the top of the hood off and removed him safely where he then got transferred into an ambulance and later “died” in the emergency room.

After the first day came the “funeral.” This is where the parents of the “deceased” fifteen students got to at

Tombstones of the “deceased” could be found in the quad.

tend an emotional ceremony. Two students presented their letters to their parents after being “killed” from a drunk driving incident, and one mother presented her eulogy to her son who was also “killed.” Many students watching, including the ones who were “deceased” were very

On the second day of the event, a funeral was held for those who had “lost their lives.”

emotional and were brought to tears. To conclude the experience, a drunk driving survivor shared her experience where most of her body was burned and most of her skin had to be transplanted due to an incident with a drunk driver.

This experience was as realistic as it could possibly be and impacted many students emotionally. Imagining how something like this would not only affect the people involved, but their friends and family and even classmates makes you really think about the consequences of getting behind the wheel under the influence.

For more information on the “Every Fifteen Minutes” program visit: https://www.chp.ca.gov/programs-services/programs/youth-programs/every-15-minutes