LINCOLN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Public safety officials in Lincoln joined forces with a team of students from Mattanawcook Academy to demonstrate the harsh realities of irresponsible driving. The program is called "Every 15 Minutes," and it's designed to challenge high school juniors and seniors to think about drinking, driving, personal safety, and the responsibility of making mature decisions that impact their own life, their family, friends, and community.
The two-day program started in 2009, and the first day of the program students see a staged accident with severely injured drivers and dead passengers. The scene is set to show a drunk driver and a distracted driver, texting behind the wheel. Rescue officials arrive on scene and treat the accident as if it was real. The "injured" students are placed on gurneys, while the "deceased" students are laid on the floor, waiting to be identified. The accident is made to be so real, that the "deceased" students' real parents participate and are escorted to the scene to identify their child's body.
Junior, Meagan O'Connor was one of the "deceased" students. She appeared to have gone through the windshield, causing fatal injuries. She said that when she was covered and waiting for her mom to arrive and identify her, she could hear her crying. She said that no parent should ever have to go through that.
During the second day, students see a court proceeding for the drunk driver, and a funeral for the students that died.
Detective Mark Fucile of the Lincoln Police Department said that he participates in the program because "watching the impact it makes on students, parents and all of the other people involved, it really hits home. You want to see people succeed." He also said that if they can save one life from having a mock crash, then they have done their jobs.