Rowland Unified School District

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"Every 15 Minutes" Event Raises DUI Awareness at Rowland High School

‘Every 15 Minutes’ event raises DUI awareness at Rowland High

Every 15 Minutes event at Rowland High School on Thursday, April 24, 2014, (Photo by Gina Ward) 
Every 15 Minutes event at Rowland High School on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (Photo by Gina Ward) 

More than 1,100 students watched as police and firemen rushed to rescue classmates trapped in an ugly two-car accident in front of Rowland High School on Thursday morning.

But not to worry, the accident was staged for an Every 15 Minutes event only days before the high school prom, though the collision seemed very real between the actual wrecked cars and the realistic makeup put on the “victims.”

Can you say zombie apocalypse? Talking to the teen volunteers in the makeup room was like interviewing actors in “The Living Dead.” Lonni Mendez was the worst, her gruesome grin overshadowed by the tiny shards of glass embedded in her face. Good luck with her prom picture, thanks to the makeup artists from the Makeup Designory in Burbank.

The 17-year-old’s collarbone jutted out from her skin, a nice touch if you’re out to scare the wits out of someone. Which is exactly what the sponsors had in mind. If they can get the kids to think about not drinking and driving, the elaborate hoax would be well worth the effort.

CHP officer Al Perez believes the special events have a real effect on the student drivers. He said studies have shown that the Every 15 Minutes concept definitely works.

“I’m sure this makes an impact,” Perez said. “It forces them to think about the consequences before they decide whether to accept that drink from a friend.”

The realistic portrayal of a fatal DUI accident shows the consequences of drinking before they get behind the wheel.

An important lesson only days before the prom, one of the biggest events in their young lives.

Just ask 17-year-old Nick Romo, the Raider senior who “dies” in the hospital after being airlifted from the Rowland accident. Romo had already warned his mother Yvette about his untimely demise.

“I know this isn’t real, but it’s still scary,” Nick Romo said. “I hope this keeps my classmates alive by not drinking and driving.”

As part of the exercise, high school had already picked 28 other students earlier in the day to be portrayed as killed. Their tombstones lined the sidewalks on campus. Click HERE for entire story! VIDEO: To view Video of "Every 15 Minutes on TOUT click HERE.

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