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Phoenix school's mock car crash may save lives

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.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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