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PHOENIX -- Almost 2,000 Washington High School students had a life-changing experience Friday morning as police, firefighters and paramedics and rescue helicopters carried out a mock car-crash exercise.

The stunningly accurate scenario, at the 27th and Glendale avenues campus, featured a student driving drunk to the prom before slamming into another car, killing his girlfriend and another driver.

Alexandria Rios was one of the actresses in the setup. The high school senior lost her nephew in a crash. Fighting back tears, she said the exercise was painful but she felt she had to get the message across.

"It hurt a lot to be sitting in that scenario. It changed me. I love everybody at Washington and this is a great message and I hope the students take it to heart," she said.

Students heard from a nurse who has told parents on many occasions that their child won't be coming home.

Students sat in stunned silence as an employee from the County Medical Examiner's Office explained, in graphic detail, how the staff handles with victims.

Car crashes are the leading cause of teenage death.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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