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Someone dies from DUI crash
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Empty alcohol containers were taken from a crashed vehicle and placed atop a totaled vehicle in the simulated Every 15 Minutes event Thursday for high school students. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Live stream of Every 15 Minutes funeral

The public can view a live feed today of the mock funeral of a victim of a simulated drunken driving accident at Manteca High stadium starting at 9:45 a.m.

 You can see the live feed by going to www.MantecaBulletin and clicking on the banner. The event usually gets fairly emotional

The funeral typically includes eulogy and letters read aloud from “deceased” students and their parents as well as remarks by victims of DUI drivers and those who prosecute such offenses. The funeral will include friends of the victim serving as pall bearers to bring the casket into the church.

The death of a friend and major injuries suffered by others as they walked along East Highway 120 from a bonfire last year were fresh on the minds of many students as they watched this year’s Every 15 Minutes at the Manteca High stadium

Every 15 Minutes — so named because that is how often a driving under the influence related death occurs in this country — is staged each spring for high school seniors by area law enforcement and public safety crews. 

Students were bused to Manteca High from Sierra, East Union and Calla high schools Thursday morning for the DUI crash simulation. Those taking part in the dramatic skit were all made to appear as if they had been part of a major accident complete with blood-like paint smeared on their bodies.

Those injured in the crash were trapped in their cars and ejected through car windows as the students witnessed the horror from the stadium bleachers. Many found it difficult to separate the simulation from the real thing causing many to become teary.

Master of ceremonies retired Sheriff’s Lieutenant Chris Stevens described the golden hour following a crash that determines whether someone is going to live or die. Stevens lost members of his own family to a deadly crash when he was a young boy.

Two motorcycle officers came onto the field with red lights flashing and sirens blaring as did one Manteca patrol car. Two ambulances and fire apparatus were close behind in what dispatchers radioed as a multi-casualty crash. In that situation all hospitals are alerted to be ready for an influx of incoming major injury victims.

As the event continued on the clock, Stevens kept the students aware of just how many minutes of that “golden hour” had elapsed, lessening the chances for the victims to survive.

Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to remove the roof from one of the cars to reach the injured students and remove them from their vehicle. The deceased and the other patients were placed on tarps on the grassy field – some had sheets covering their bodies. The county coroner responded and processed those who had passed away in the crash.

As the hour-long drama was about to conclude, one of two Manteca ambulances left the field with a seriously injured Calla High School student and headed for Doctors Hospital with red lights and siren. Anna Pineda – a Calla High senior – would die shortly after being rolled on the ambulance gurney into the emergency room. Shortly thereafter the air ambulance would take to the air transporting another victim to a regional trauma center as the columns of the “Living Dead” stood by and watched.

Her mother, Yovanna Glavac, broke down as she saw her unconscious and injured daughter with hospital emergency room staffers working over her – “dying” before her eyes. She admitted it was all too real for her to comprehend as she saw her daughter there with her eyes shut and a nurse attempting to save her with CPR.

Today students and their parents will take part in a funeral at the Place of Refuge church on Button Avenue where the lights will be turned low and once again there will be tears flowing with the “all too real” simulation with the DUI driver in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs sitting in the front of the room.

Attorneys will present the seriousness of drinking and driving and how easy it is for a DUI driver to go to jail for many years to come as families are ruined in the process.

Students and parents will go to the lectern and read emotional packed letters they have written to their parents and to other students that have a way of impacting the audience. Students were required to be in seclusion from Wednesday night until tonight after the conclusion of the program, when, unlike the real thing they can go home. 


To contact Glenn Kahl email or call 209.249.3539.