WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Day one of a two-day program, called Shattered Dreams, to teach teens the consequences of drinking and driving was held Tuesday morning at Rider High School.
Around 1,500 students watched a graphic mock fatal crash involving a drunk driver outside their school.
The morning started with a chilling 9-1-1 call, played over the school's speakers, to announce the accident.
Junior and senior students poured out of the building to witness the crash. First responders treated the scene as if it was a real one.
"We hope we prevent any accident from ever happening and any family from going through a traumatization like this," Principal Dee Palmore said.
Adele Lewis, TxDOT spokesperson, said the plan was to hold the program before prom and graduation.
"These type of cases are going to be popping up here in the next few weeks and we will hear about them statewide whether they're in our own backyard or in another part of the state of Texas," Lewis said.
"There's no reason for [a fatal crash involving a drunk driver]," Palmore said. "I hope we put some thoughts in some kids heads to choose better. The kids we used were very popular, people know them and I think that made a big difference."
Texas DPS Sgt. Dan Buesing said around 6,000 teenagers are killed every year for a variety of reasons but a large part of them are fatal crashes that involve a drunk or intoxicated driver.
Lewis said the mock fatal crash is something the students would normally see on the big screen and that is why she felt it was important to have them up close and see what can actually happen.
"It gets to be more real for them than just watching a television screen," Lewis said. "I really think they learned something from this and can feel the passion and the pain and the agony of a wreck."
14 agencies including Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Department of Public Safety, Wichita Falls police and fire departments came together for the program.
Day two will take place Wednesday. The students will hear from Sean and Jenny Carter, a mother and son motivational speaking team, about the consequences of drinking and driving.
Sean is a former-MSU student and survivor of a car crash involving a drunk driver. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and is no longer able to walk and talk. Despite these setbacks, he is able to share his journey with thousands.