Hard hitting lesson on drinking and drivingMoorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - Students at Moorhead High today learned a tough, emotional lesson about drinking and driving. After nearly 2-years of planning, Moorhead Police presented its “Every 15-Minutes” project to hundreds of students. The demonstration hit students hard.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
When the grim reaper came into Anna Dalen's math class, the news was not good. She was dead, killed by a drunk driver. Her smile and laughter will never be forgotten.
Anna was brought down to meet the other Moorhead High Students who would be painted with white make up, symbolizing how every 15 minutes someone dies in drinking and driving crash.
ANNA DALEN - Moorhead High Student: “To hear my obituary, before I thought no big deal, but after hearing it kind of freaking a little.”
Throughout the day, those students, dead, stood in hallways saying nothing, holding their obituary and talking to no one.
MERCEDES ANN NAPPE - Moorhead High Student: “I would never do drinking and driving. Just thinking about not being here and all your friends and family here, but you are not. It is sad.”
A powerful part of the day came when officers from the Moorhead Police Department went to notify parents their daughter had just died.
“Your daughter has been killed in an accident.”
Even though Karen Frost knew of the project, it was still hard news to hear.
“The other driver is being processed for DUI. People in his car had been drinking.”
“He was drinking and he killed my daughter.”
KAREN FROST - Mother of Student: “It was very edgy, it was scary and it was real almost and I felt like I was not acting and somebody giving me news.”
Moorhead Police has spent the last year and a half planning this day. Officer Scott Kostohryz trained in California for this, months of preparation for one simple message.
SCOTT KOSTOHRYZ - Moorhead Police Department: “it is fake, but you cannot go through this and not be affected by it.”
Tonight Moorhead Police will gather all the students and keep them sequestered in a local hotel. The students will write their final letters to parents and police will gather the parents will write letters to their children.
And late this afternoon there was a mock disaster. Life-flight, fire, ambulance, and police show students the dark side of drinking and driving, a quick decision with lifetime consequences.
Tomorrow morning the students will hear from a man just out of prison who killed someone while driving drunk. They will also hear from a mother whose daughter died after a drunk driver hit the car she was driving.