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Five ‘die’ in mock DUI crash at Manteca High
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Photo by Carol Creighton Local fire fighters along with police, ambulance and CHP were part of the Every 15 Minute Program on Thursday.

Five were declared “dead” Thursday at Manteca High.

This was all part of the City of Manteca’s Every 15 Minutes Program consisting of Manteca Unified seniors from East Union High, Sierra High, Manteca High and Calla High.

According to Lt. Stephen Schluer — he’s the local chairman for the Every 15 Minutes Program and president of the Manteca Unified school board — Manteca along with Pleasanton and Chico are able to conduct the program every year.

Otherwise, Every 15 Minutes are held every other year at most schools based on grant application, Schluer added.

The specifics of the local scenario staged at Guss Schmiedt Stadium involved teenage driver, who was later determined to be under the influence — her blood alcohol limit was .12 percent or  nearly twice the legal limit — along with passengers in Dodge Durango, traveling from a party at French Camp and crashing to another group of teenagers in a Honda CR-V.

“It was selfish, selfish act committed by selfish, selfish people,” said Schluer. “People should not drive after drinking or smoking marijuana, which is now legal.”

He noted that more crashes have occurred as of late because of people driving under the influence of marijuana.

Every 15 Minutes is a coordinated effort involving the Manteca Police Department in partnership with Manteca District Ambulance, Manteca Fire Department, and other agencies in conjunction with the local California Highway Patrol and the Office of Traffic Safety.

This two-day program challenges high school seniors to think about drinking, driving, personal safety and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved.

The second part takes place today at 9:45 a.m. at the Christian Worship Center, 786 Button Ave., with a mock funeral involving the five “deceased” students — they’re actually doing an overnight at Calvary Community Church while their parents are doing likewise at Sequoia Elementary School, Schluer said.

The program will also include guest speakers sharing their real life experiences with DUI-related deaths.

Every 15 Minutes was conceived in 1990 when one alcohol-related traffic fatality occurred in the U.S. at least every 15 minutes. 

The five “deceased” on this day were represented by 82 fellow MUSD students representing the Living Dead.

All told, 92 students were involved in the program, which takes over eight months to coordinate.

A live stream of the Every 15 Minutes exercise is available for viewing on the MUSD Facebook page, Schluer noted.

One of the “injured” in the mock crash scene was transported from the MHS stadium via helicopter.

That was part of the Golden Hour, which, Schluer said, is the precious 60 minutes needed to transport those with traumatic injuries -- considered most crucial for successful emergency treatment -- to the hospital for advance care.