ERHS scene of mock car crash


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An Anchorage Police officer arrives at the scene of a mock car accident at Eagle River High School on Wednesday, April 24. The car crash scenario was part of the "Every 15 Minutes" program, which uses simulated drunk driving accidents to show the dangers of impaired driving to students.

Star photo by Matt Tunseth

Eagle River High School students were treated to a grisly scene behind the school Wednesday, April 24.

As they filed out of the school, the students saw what appeared to be a two-car collision with several severe injuries. A blood-covered student laid outside one of the vehicles, and several injured passengers in both cars groaned with their injuries.

The scene — part of the "Every 15 Minutes" education program — wasn't real, but it was meant to convey a powerful message about drunk driving.

"This is 100 percent preventable," said APD school resource officer Wendi Shackelford.

The entire ERHS student body turned out for the mock crash, which was set up to appear as if a drunken ERHS student had T-boned another vehicle in the parking lot behind the school. Students watched as paramedics tended to the wounded while police officers scoured the scene for clues. The student playing the drunk driver was put through a field sobriety test and then "arrested" and taken to Anchorage for an arraignment at the Anchorage Court House.

Shackelford said the two-day program is designed to be as realistic as possible.

"It's to show students the very real consequences of what that would mean for real," she said.

With prom and graduation coming up, ERHS principal Marty Lang said now is an extremely important time to make students aware of the consequences of driving while impaired.

"Certainly we hope it's effective that, going into prom weekend students make those good choices to protect themselves and their friends," he said.

The program will also include a simulated memorial service Thursday, April 25 at the school.

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