Havelock High School students witness mock alcohol-related fatal collision

By  | 

HAVELOCK, N.C. (WITN) - Every 15 minutes, someone dies from an alcohol-related traffic collision.

The "Every 15 Minutes Program" came to one area high school in the hopes of getting students there to think before hitting the road when alcohol has been involved.

It's an important lesson about the dangers of drinking and driving, so to really drive home the message, the Havelock Police Department gave students at Havelock High School a realistic look at what can happen.

Officers say these crashes are not accidents, but collisions, because they can be prevented when people choose not to drink and drive.

That message is the idea behind Thursday's event.

What looks like a very serious fatal car crash, is actually just a skit performed by several high school students, including star quarterback Corey Cooper, who is killed in this mock crash.

In the scenario, a group of students are drinking at a party before one leaves to pick another friend up and they in up in a deadly crash.

As the scene unfolds, officers show the students exactly how gruesome these crashes can be and how they can impact an entire community just by making one bad decision.

"You know, make smart decisions, if you come to a situation where you can't drive, call somebody, call us, we'll gladly give you a ride or find someone to give you a ride, you know it's not worth it, prison time, it not only affects the students or the person that's injured or killed it, affects the first responders and the community," says Officer Blake Young.

The crash itself is not the only thing student watched. They also saw all of the steps that officers must go through when a crash like this happens, including a field sobriety test.

The scene wrapped up with a funeral procession, which may sound harsh, but officers say that if they can reach even just one student, then it was worth it.

They hope the very shocking idea of losing someone the entire school knows, will sink in how serious drinking and driving is.

Havelock officers say this is the first time in more than a decade that something like the "Every 15 Minute" program has been to this area.

The program was originally created by California Highway Patrol officers more than 20 years ago.