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April 18, 2013

Mock DUI plays out in graphic detail at Pacheco High

A bloody morality play Thursday gave Pacheco High upperclassmen an eyeful.

A bloody morality play Thursday gave Pacheco High upperclassmen an eyeful.

Every 15 Minutes is a program staged about every other year to shock students into thinking twice about distracted driving.

Denise Clarke-Silveira, the senior counselor, said 27 students played a role in staging a mock drunken driving crash at the high school.

Clarke-Silveira said she believes the presentation will have a lasting impact on students and teachers.

"Even if it just makes them think about it a little bit," she said.

One person in the United States dies every 50 minutes from a drunken driving crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Thursday, someone dressed as the Grim Reaper visited junior and senior classes every 15 minutes to take one student who was symbolically dying from a crash. Those students, with ghostly face paint, followed the Reaper around the crash site.

An access way behind Pacheco High served as the scene of the accident where a head-on collision between a van and sedan killed at least one person, injured others and ended with the drunken driver arrested.

Los Banos Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Los Banos Fire Department, Riggs Ambulance Service and other responders swarmed the area. They operated as they would at any accident scene, with gurneys, the Jaws of Life and a sobriety test. Students watched from the bleachers.

Jose Arteaga, a paramedic, said the crash was relatively accurate and he could tell because he felt the typical adrenaline rush.

He said he's been on the scene where drivers and passengers have been killed or maimed.

"I believe there was one here in Los Banos not that long ago," Arteaga said, referring to a suspected DUI crash that killed a 10-year-old in November.

This morning at 10:30, the school plans a "memorial service" that will be attended by juniors and seniors.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanos

enterprise.com.

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