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Responders, Students Simulate DWI Crash [VIDEO]

National educational program 'Every 15 Minutes' comes to Madison High School for the first time.

A national program designed to educate students about the dangers of drunk driving came to on Monday.

Clergy from and , , , film crews and makeup artists from and a medevac helicopter all played a part in the program, called "Every 15 Minutes."

The program has relied heavily on student and parent involvement, with about 40 students playing the roles of drunk driving accident victims. Their parents wrote mock obituaries, which were read to their classmates.

In the afternoon, a realistic DWI accident simulation played out in a high school parking lot for juniors and seniors.

Borough police Officer Chad Rybka proposed bringing the program to Madison this year, and found the department and school district enthusiastically supported the idea, he said. Superintendent Dr. Michael Rossi said he experienced the program while he was in Roxbury schools.

"If it makes one kid, one night make a good decision it will all be worth it," Rybka said.

California resident Jill Elliott flew in to talk to students for the program. Elliott's daughter, Rachel, died in a drunk driving accident at the age of 18. When Jill Elliott was 18 herself, her car was hit from behind by a drunk driver. Two of her friends who were in her car were killed in the crash.

She said she hopes students who have a sense of how serious the trauma from car accidents can be won't worry about "feeling awkward" if they have to insist friends give up their keys or call a cab.

"The purpose of the program is to illustrate the total impact of what happens," Rossi said. "Not just to the drivers and those that are involved, but the families and the community."

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