Every 15 Minutes warns students

A car accident on March 24 involving seven CVHS students on Crow Canyon Road led to the deaths of two students and left several students injured. The two vehicles collided when one of the vehicles was going the wrong way at high speed. The driver of one of the vehicles was arrested on the suspicion of a DUI. First responders rushed to the scene, freeing victims from the wreck and treating them at Eden Medical Center.

“I cannot believe this is happening in Castro Valley. It is really a shame,” said a first responder on the scene.

Fortunately, the car accident aforementioned was a mock accident put on by students and emergency responders for the Every 15 Minutes program. The two-day program showed students the consequences that follow driving under the influence. Many local agencies participated in the program, including the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Alameda County Fire Department, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Eden Medical Center.

The program started with students’ and teachers’ names who have “passed away” being announced every 15 minutes over the intercom. Participants were pulled out of classrooms and a rose was placed on their desks. Obituaries of those who passed were placed in the middle of the quad. This was to simulate how a death caused by drinking and driving can affect the school community.

Later that day, students were greeted by a massive car wreck in the middle of the field in the stadium. Multiple victims of the accident were stuck inside the cars, and bodies laid amid the destruction. The fire department arrived, making a loop on the track and into the scene. Using the jaws of life, firefighters removed the roof to one of the vehicles, freeing two victims. 

Senior Zachary Furber-Dobson, playing the drunk driver, did a breathalyzer test with Officer Dan Jacowitz. Furber-Dobson was handcuffed and taken away in a CHP vehicle.

On the second day of the program, a “memorial,” was held in the CFA. A coffin was placed in the middle of the stage, with those who had been pulled out of class the day sitting alongside. Speaker Marcella Gomez spoke of her experience of being in a crash caused by a drunk driver.

“No amount of punishment for the drunk driver will ever make up for not having Mom and Dad,” said Gomez.

Participants involved in the program were also given the opportunity to speak about their experience in the program.

“The coroner told me something that I cannot get out of my head, that I was one of the lucky people to get on this table and be able to get off of it,” said senior Keagan Shirley.

“This was a really amazing experience and being a part of something that could save at least one life is all that matters to me,” said senior Jake Zakas.

A video showing the accident and court hearings ended the memorial, showing students the long-term consequences of a choice to drink and drive.

Since the program’s inception, deaths from drunk driving have lowered, now occurring every 52 minutes. The event brought up many emotions from students even though it was just a simulation, making a lasting impact on students.

“Be responsible. Make good choices because the choices you are making right now are going to affect the rest of your life, who and what you’ll be,” said Jacowitz.

20 thoughts on “Every 15 Minutes warns students

  • April 27, 2022 at 11:13 am
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    I found the performance interesting. Many heavy or “mature” things were there, like swearing, blood, gore, drugs, and alcohol. In addition, the performance included the “real deal” of many things, like an actual courtroom for the mock trial, actual car wrecks, an actual ambulance, etc. I never thought that students like us would ever get to see things like that. Back on the topic of alcohol, I noticed that the liquor at the mock party shown in the movie was an actual brand of liquor. I wonder how the filming crew got their hands on it and managed the item (if it was real) or how they managed to obtain or create a prop. I also thought that blood, gore, drugs, alcohol, etc. were not supposed to be even shown on campus (I thought the dress code stopped people from wearing clothes with those things on it, and that this rule applied to other things as well).

  • April 27, 2022 at 11:03 am
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    I think this program is very helpful for students at our age. We really need to take those seriously and not to do them. At the “Funeral” I was shocked because it was really happening to a family. I thought it was just a story that they made up to warn us but I never expect it to be a true story. I just hope that everybody will take this seriously and we can definitely prevent such things from happening again.

  • April 27, 2022 at 11:02 am
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    I find this program amazing. It really does open the eyes of those who are starting off to drive as well as those who are knowledgeable. I like how you went through the process of those two days of the program and quotes of those who were a part of it. This program overall is very touching and I’m glad it helped lower the stats on drunk driving and hope it will open the minds of more youths as this continues.

  • April 27, 2022 at 11:01 am
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    I think that every 15 min was good because it showed people the danger of drunk driving. Its sad that so many people die every year because of this. Hopefully every 15 min will encourage people to drive sober or get an uber. I thought that the production was really good. It seemed very realistic and as more people start to drive more people will be warned.

  • April 27, 2022 at 10:57 am
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    Overall I thought the every 15 minutes program was done very well and provided a powerful message. It was certainly eye opening hearing a speech from somebody who has been through the worst this situation can offer and the fake car crash scene at the assembly as well as the video production we would watch on stage were both really well made. I however personally think it was a msitake to try to convince teens not to drink and drive through fear, that simply will not work and I wish they nstead leaned more into how your actions can affect the lives of others.

  • April 27, 2022 at 8:33 am
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    This program really helped me open my eyes about driving under the influence and reckless driving even without substance. Because it is peoples lives at risk every time you start up that car. You can effect a lot peoples lives with just a mistake or choosing to drive under the influence.

  • April 27, 2022 at 8:30 am
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    I’m glad that I was able to watch this program this year. This program left an everlasting impact on many students, especially me, as the amount of teenage drivers continue to increase. Furthermore, this program brought out many emotions in me as it “hit close to home” with a situation that happened to my family. I’m grateful that this program exists because it does an amazing job on spreading awareness and advocacy on a topic that could detrimentally impact many lives. Moreover, it’s great to hear that the amount of deaths from drunk driving has lowered because of the program. I hope people keep the message of not to drive under the influence embedded in their heads. Keeping this message in mind before getting behind the wheel or being a passenger will avoid unnecessary casualties.

  • April 27, 2022 at 8:20 am
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    I’m so glad I was able to see this program put together by the school and the students. It opened my eyes further to the idea of not driving under the influence and the consequences that could follow if to do so. Having just recently gotten my license not too long ago this made me realize anything could happen and I gotta be ready to handle and act if I see anything like this happen.

  • April 26, 2022 at 11:07 am
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    After I saw this program, it scared me to go behind the wheel of a car. I’m glad that our school shows us the harsh reality of driving and the responsibility you have once you are driving a car. One second is all it takes. Whether you are looking at your phone or distracted in any other way. One second is all it takes to change your life.

  • April 26, 2022 at 11:06 am
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    This program is very important for high school kids, as they are one of the main demographics that drunk driving happens in and affects. I hope that every 15 minutes will be able to stop kids from driving drunk, because after seeing what it could possibly do to people, I know the thought will never even cross my mind.

  • April 26, 2022 at 10:56 am
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    This program was very intense for me. Although I have been driving for a while now, I have never really experienced a shock like this. It really showed that it can happen to anyone and how dangerous driving actually can be. You don’t even have to be the person under the influence to get hurt. It really made me drive more cautiously. I would never want to hurt another person while driving when I could avoid the whole situation altogether. Even if students didn’t take it so seriously they should, especially with lots of people getting their licenses. I liked the program and it really affected me in a way that I hope others were affected.

  • April 26, 2022 at 10:51 am
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    I thought that the demonstration was definitely emotionally wrenching but very important for many new drivers or soon to be drivers to experience. I thought that the ones who participated in the demonstration had strong stories and I was very shocked to even hear stories of members of the program from our school admitting to driving under the influence. It makes me glad that they as well as many others have used this program to learn an important lesson that could potentially save lives.

  • April 26, 2022 at 8:24 am
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    I think this program has done a great job showing us what would happen in real life situations if a CVHS student was to be in this incident. It was very touching and surreal to see that any one of us could have experienced this in real life as well as how our family would react. Im very grateful to have this program at our school because it makes students second guess their decisions on drinking and driving. It’s a serious issue that could be prevented, yet so many teenagers in the world make the biggest mistake. I think that juniors and seniors who have just started driving, take advantage of it and sometimes get in trouble.

  • April 26, 2022 at 8:21 am
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    The every 15 minutes program was a great way to show others the consequences of drunk driving, to show the emotions that surround it. The program did a great job demonstrating those feelings. I was very curious throughout the assemblies, it was very emotional, not only for me but for many others. I’ve never seen anything like this, but this assembly or types of programs are important and even crucial to show students, to educate them on situations or issues like these. This just shows how our actions can have consequences, and we need to be more careful.

  • April 15, 2022 at 1:27 pm
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    i think this program really opened a lot of students’ eyes. im sure i can speak for many and say that you never take this 100% seriously until it happens to you or someone you know and love. im hoping that this program makes everyone see what can terribly happen when driving under the influence.

  • April 14, 2022 at 6:11 pm
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    I’m glad I was able to see this program this year! I applaud everyone who spent the time to organize this. It was really well done, I hope people really do get the message across to their hearts and keep this in mind forever.

  • April 14, 2022 at 10:00 am
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    I’m glad that I was able to watch this program this year, it was very impactful and influential. I hope that they continue this in the future!

  • April 13, 2022 at 2:58 pm
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    I think that this program was a very interesting and important program showing what not to do while driving. We mainly junior and seniors are just getting our licenses and we need to be careful out there. THis program can help many students prevent accidents.

  • April 9, 2022 at 5:03 pm
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    It was a very impactful program! I feel so fortunate to participate in this years program.

  • April 7, 2022 at 5:55 pm
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    After this program, it makes me think that we should INCREASE the penalty for people who are convicted of DUI manslaughter. I saw the scene in the Every 15 Minutes assembly, and when they showed us that video the next day, it made me emotional. This is why I think that people who DUI and kill 3 or more people should be given long prison sentences, and there are some people in REAL LIFE who have caused fatal DUI collisions and get 50 years in prison for that collision, and I think that they don’t care about the emotional damage and the gravity of their actions on the victim’s families, and I think that they don’t care about how they affect other people’s lives. This is why when a DUI driver kills multiple people, I think that something harsh like 50 years in prison is appropriate given the gravity of their actions. People should NOT drive under the influence. This is EXACTLY why I WILL NEVER GET HIGH IN THE FIRST PLACE! IT SHOULD BE COMMON SENSE NOT TO DUI BY NOW, IT SHOULD HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COMMON SENSE, AND UNFORTUNATELY SOME PEOPLE MAKE THE STUPID DECISION TO DUI AND IT CAUSES PEOPLE TO GET SEVERELY AND SOMETIMES PERMANENTLY HURT AND SOMETIMES TO EVEN END UP DEAD, BECAUSE OF ONE PERSON’S STUPID DECISION!

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