*Photo of the 2019 Shattered Lives event at Mayfield High School is attached. Video of the MHS event can be viewed by clicking this link.
Students at Las Cruces High School will get a sobering lesson in the consequences of drunk driving in a mock-DWI crash near the campus Thursday morning.
The event, known locally as “Shattered Lives” is part of an annual simulation that aims to teach teens the far-reaching effects of drinking and driving. The crash will be staged at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 7, on Boutz Drive just north of the LCHS campus. Several Doña Ana County emergency crews and first responders will be called to the scene, described as “a serious crash involving students.” Some will be pronounced dead; others will be critically injured.
Events for the Shattered Lives program will begin Thursday just before 10 a.m., when all students at LCHS will be called out to witness the crash. Morning traffic on Boutz between Main Street and El Paseo Road will be temporarily interrupted. A portion of Boutz will be blocked until approximately noon.
The crash will involve vehicles, students who will be portrayed as victims, and one student who will be acting as the impaired driver. The driver, who is the cause of the crash in the exercise, will be given a series of field sobriety tests on the scene and will be placed under arrest. Emergency crews and first responders will arrive on the scene and will tend to the victims just as they would if it were an actual crash. Law enforcement agencies will share the responsibilities of controlling traffic, containing the crime scene, investigating the crash and coordinating medical services.
Students with injuries will be transported by ground and air ambulance to MountainView Regional Medical Center.
While the crash is being staged Thursday morning, several volunteers dressed as the Grim Reaper will visit various classrooms at the school, tapping the shoulders of students picked from a cross-section of the entire student body. The selected students represent teens who are killed in alcohol-related crashes, and the strategy is to ensure each population within the school is represented. A member of law enforcement will then enter the classroom and read an obituary prepared by the student’s loved ones as part of the simulation.
Following Thursday’s mock crash, students will gather in the gymnasium at LCHS on Friday to be reunited with their classmates who were chosen to exemplify the Shattered Lives message. Friday’s program includes remarks from LCHS Principal Michelle Ronga, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, Doña Ana County Sheriff Kim Stewart and Gerald Byers, Third Judicial District Attorney.
This is the first time since 2019 that Shattered Lives has returned to a school campus. This year’s program is made possible under the direction of MountainView Regional Medical Center and with the collaborative efforts of several local law enforcement agencies, including the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, Las Cruces Police Department, New Mexico State Police and the local sector of the U.S. Border Patrol.
Since 2016, the program has operated on donated funds and volunteer efforts.