Lincoln Students Experience The Dangers Of Drunk Driving 

A school day that started out like any other at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, took an emotional turn.”Hearing my name called and seeing the grim reaper come into the class and pull me out was just like, oh my word I’m dead now,” said Desirae Lagasse, a junior at Mattanawcook Academy. Every 15 minutes, students were pulled out of class and joined the “walking dead.” This was a reminder of the chilling drunk driving statistics that are part of the “Every 15 Minutes Program.””You don’t really know how the kids are going to respond, but typically it is a moving event for most of our kids and some of our staff,” said Principal Henry Pietras. The big event of the day was a staged drunk driving accident, one that could not have seemed any more realistic.”It’s a community effort and the fact that we have a lot of first responders here. We have the police, we have the fire department,” said Pietras. “When I first walked out here and saw one of my best friends lying on that hood of the car, I lost it completely,” said Lagasse. Students gathered outside the school as first responders assessed the scene, called for LifeFlight, and arrested the drunk driver.”It makes it seem like it could actually happen here because you always think it won’t happen to me or it won’t happen to us, but it makes it more realistic like it really could,” said senior Katie Krapf. “I think the most difficult part was seeing the parents trying to identify their kids. I mean we’ve gone to school with these kids since kindergarten, we grew up with them, and it was hard to see them not alive,” said junior Isaiah Kafka. While the event required a lot of support from the community, the school hopes the day left its mark on the students.”I hope the kids realize how important this is to us as well as them. Their safety means a lot to us,” said Kelli Bard, one of the program coordinators. “Seeing my friends ride away in a hearse, right now, I’m left thinking that honestly I’ll never look at alcohol the same way ever again,” said Lagasse.