Students Witness 'Death' Of Two Classmates In 'Mock Crash' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Students Witness 'Death' Of Two Classmates In 'Mock Crash'

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Texting while driving is just one of the many dangerous distractions drivers face, and it became a primary offense in Washington in July 2010.

Effective July 1st, it will also be banned in Idaho.

But it's a tough law to enforce, because phones are often hidden in laps or away from sight.

Data from Spokane Police and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office wasn't immediately available Thursday, and the Washington State Patrol won't have figures from 2012 until June.

But WSP did tell us, in this 7-county district surrounding Spokane, it issued 28 tickets and 46 warnings for texting while driving in 2011.

At Spokane's North Central High School today, a mock crash involving students was meant to show them not to text, call, or drink behind the wheel in the first place.

In the graphic demonstration, two seniors were 'killed' and another two were injured. Students watched at fire trucks arrived, their friends were pulled from the wreckage, and then, the hearse rolled in.

While it's an emotional experience for the students watching, it's an all-too-real nightmare for Travis Sines.

On July 7, 2009, near Plummer, Idaho, he'd been drinking, but got behind the wheel and killed his best friend in a crash.

Sines also wasn't expected to survive, but did - with major brain damage.

"I think about it every day, and it doesn't seem to get any easier," Sines said. "I just learn to cope with it I guess."

He was 18 at the time, and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He served 30 days in jail and is still on parole, but had the victim's family pressed it, he could have served upwards of 18 years.

Paul Fuchs was also part of the demonstration at NCHS. When he was 16, his 17 year old sister was killed by a drunk driver in a separate crash. He says she was on track to be valedictorian, and was even writing a book.

"Tears still come to my eye. It's the correlation of watching the {students} and their reaction, and then how I felt. It just brings it right back," Fuchs said. "It never goes away, it never goes away."

Since his sister's death, he's been a part of roughly 40 such 'mock' demonstrations, hoping to show students the choices they make behind the wheel never impact just them.

And Travis Sines agrees:

"I'm sure they didn't all listen to me, but as long as one person felt it, then I did something good here today."

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