Staged Crash at LAHS Drives Home Distracted Driving Dangers

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

An emotionally charged emergency-response exercise involving a staged crash in which five students were injured and a sixth student died at the scene took place this morning at Los Alamos High School.

The vehicular accident was staged in the faculty parking lot as part of the “Every 15 Minutes” program.

“Every 15 minutes” is a national initiative that uses staged crashes, emergency-response scenarios, and discussion to educate and remind students and adults about the many dangers associated with driving while impaired or texting.

Los Alamos police and fire departments, DeVargas Funeral Home, the Office of the Medical Investigator, trauma chaplains, parents, students, school administrators and Careflight critical care helicopter transport service participated in the event.

“The single most challenging issue that I’ve seen facing law ennforcement in my entire career is driving and texting, which is legal and socially acceptable but it will kill more people than guns …,” Los Alamos Polcie Chief Wayne Torpy said at the police station today during an early morning final briefing of the group participating in the “Every 15 Minutes” event.

Students with fake wounds prepare to act like accident victims. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ 

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Photo by Carol A. Clark/

To add additional realism to the event, Careflight arrived to transport a critically injured student. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

The “dead” student’s mom displays grief at the scene. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy with the student who played dead at the scene. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

The student driver who was drinking and caused the crash sustained a gash to his head but otherwise was uninjured. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

The driver fails the field sobriety test and is arrested at the scene. Photo by Carol A. Clark/





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