WSMR ASAP holds Shattered Lives event at Centennial High School

On April 4, 2024 White Sands Missile Range Army Substance Abuse Program volunteered efforts in support of Shattered Lives of Dona Ana County targeting the teen population of Las Cruces, New Mexico’s Centennial High School student body population of 1,642.

Centennial High School students witnessed a vivid demonstration aimed at enlightening teenagers about the perilous consequences of drinking and driving, as per Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS). The staged crash unfolded at 10 a.m. in the student parking lot at Centennial High School, drawing the participation of several emergency crews and first responders from Doña Ana County.

The goal of this event was to provide information to the students about the harmful effects of alcohol and drug use. Dubbed as "Shattered Lives," the simulation orchestrated a scenario involving vehicles, students role-playing as victims, and one student assuming the role of an impaired driver. The performed incident continued with the impaired driver undergoing a battery of field sobriety tests on-site and was subsequently apprehended.

"The WSMR ASAP team was pleased to provide community outreach by assisting like-minded agencies in this youth anti-drug awareness campaign,” said Edwin J. Westbrook, WSMR ASAP Program Manager.

Centennial High School is within the neighboring community of White Sands Missile Range installation. The WSMR ASAP team provided an after-event activity involving a pedal cart track which required students to ride while wearing impairment googles.  Additionally, the WSMR ASAP team worked with Las Cruces Public Schools, Centennial High School faculty, Dona Ana County Sherriff's Department, and Las Cruces Police officers to provide simulated sobriety tests to students while they wore the impairment goggles.

The realism of the event extended to the arrival of emergency crews and first responders, who diligently attended to the simulated victims, mirroring a genuine crash scenario. Law enforcement agencies were also deeply involved, meticulously containing the simulated crime scene, initiating crash investigations, and coordinating medical aid. Injuries sustained by students were handled with the utmost seriousness, as they were swiftly transported to a nearby hospital.

Formerly known as “Every 15 Minutes”, Shattered Lives is a collaborative effort involving local law enforcement agencies, WSMR ASAP, Las Cruces Public Schools, members of the medical community, the Elks Lodge, Getz Funeral Home, and numerous volunteers from across Doña Ana County. The initiative's core mission is to vividly replicate the harrowing consequences of drunk driving, particularly targeting the period preceding prom, when statistics show an uptick in underage alcohol consumption.