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Thomas Stone High students get lesson on distracted driving

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Students at Thomas Stone High School got a wake-up call Thursday about distracted driving as they witnessed a re-enactment of a fatal drunk driving accident.

A teenage girl sat bloody and screaming in the back of a smashed up sedan while the other occupants have either died or been knocked unconscious. The scene was a simulation from the Every 15 Minutes program, in which students act out the dangerous consequences of drunk driving.

Sadly, similar accidents end tragically for thousands of teen drivers each year who are victims of impaired driving.

The initial giggling from a crowd of students quickly fell silent as they watched the situation unfold in their school's parking lot Thursday morning.

Waldorf volunteer firefighters painted students to look like corpses, and Lt. Guy Yesse said it was imperative to show students a realistic representation.

"I don’t want this to happen to any teens,” Yesse said. “If they can see this here, if they can think before picking put up the phone or the bottle and drink, that's our goal right here."

Cara Chandler participated in the event and urges people to think twice before texting at the wheel or drinking and driving.

“I would not advise anyone of any age to text, drink and drive," she said.

But despite programs and simulations, a recent State Farm survey indicated 57 percent of young drivers admit to texting while driving.

"You don't want to kill the fun, or not be available," said Daryllee Hale, a Thomas Stone High School senior. "But at the same time you have to think that you're not just taking your own life in your hands, but the people around you."

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