Every 15 minutes
Students from Green River High School were able to witness the dramatic affects of a mock driving Under the influence accident, Every 15 Minutes program. Students participated in the scenario as drivers and passengers in the vehicles. The students were made to look like real accident victims, with the assistance of the Emery High drama students. The scenario began in front of the school, in which two vehicles were involved in a collision. Fire, police and EMS were summoned to the accident scene. The emergency responders rendered aid to the victims of the accident. One of the victims of the accident was deceased, she was covered with a blanket. Emergency responders continued to work with the other accident victims, extracting them from the vehicles for transport in the ambulances. One of the victims was serious enough that she had to be transported by a medical helicopter. After the victims were removed from the scene Steven Furner from Fausett Mortuary, attended to the deceased student. Cassi Mecham, mock victim, was placed in a body bag and put in the hearse for transport to the mortuary. The deceased victims' parents, Allyson and Trevor Mecham were at the scene and could be seen grieving for their daughter as emergency workers consoled them. The DUI suspect was questioned and given Field Sobriety Tests by UHP Trooper, Drew Olson. The suspect failed the FSTs and was given a Portable Breath Test, which he also failed. The suspect was placed in handcuffs, placed in the trooper's car and transported to the UHP office, where he was booked for DUI. Later in the day, a mock trial was held for the suspect and a funeral was held for the deceased student.
The program was called "Every 15 Minutes" and involved the partnership of the Governing Youth Council, Green River High, Emery County Sheriff's Office and the Castleview Hospital. The program was named because every 15 minutes across the United States there is an impaired driver caused or related death. Every five minutes an impaired driver causes an injury.
After the mock car accident the students returned to class. As the day progressed, every 15 minutes a student was taken out of class to represent the one life lost every 15 minutes. An assembly took place at the school later that day and the "dead" students all sat together on the stage. The stage was set for the trial of the mock defendant Landon Fluckey who was the driver of the vehicle. Judge Steven Stream participated along with defense attorney, David Allred and Mark Tanner, prosecutor.
Judge Stream reminded the students of the seriousness of a crime of this nature. It can change lives forever with just one bad decision. He reminded the students that going to court is very serious. Judge Stream talked about the process that someone goes through when a family member or friend drinks and drives and the effects on not just the person involved but the whole family, friends and community.
Sheri Vetere, the secretary at Green River High shared the story of her sons best friend in Randolph and how he was killed by his girlfriend while driving drunk and how her life is very messed up now. It has affected not only his family, but her family and the motocross family. They all participated in motocross together and it has really been a big upset to them.
Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk talked not only about the effects on people, but he also spoke about going to a home several years ago to inform the parents that they had lost a child and how he will never get the look on the mom's face out of his memory and how it affected him and the community.
Attorney Tanner said the defendant operated the vehicle in a negligent manner and should be found guilty. The defense attorney Allred said the field sobriety results should be thrown out because the defendant was injured at the time the test was administered. The witness didn't really see what happened so the defendant should be found not guilty.
Judge Stream had the final say in the matter, saying the breath alcohol test proved the driver was impaired and therefore guilty of criminal vehicular homicide. He sentenced the defendant to serve 0-5 in the Utah State Prison.
The program concluded with Lorie Huntington from the Governing Youth Council giving some statistics of young drivers. She said three people under age 21 die each day from alcohol related accidents. There are 100,000 deaths annually that are alcohol related and in one half of all traffic accidents, alcohol is involved.
This event was organized by Lorie Huntington from the Governing youth council along with Shaun Bell from the Drug Task Force. Special thanks to Emery County Sheriff's Office, Green River fire department and EMTs, Life Flight, ETV, Judge Stream, Mayor Brady, Cheer coalition, highway patrol, S&S wrecking, Mark Tanner, David Allred, Kathy at Ray's Tavern, Karen Smith, teachers and students from Green River High.