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East Texas students learn about dangers of drunk driving

JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK) - Drinking and driving has proven to have severe and deadly consequences. The 'Shattered Dreams' event was held in Jacksonville High School to show students a dramatization of an alcohol-related crash. Students from Jacsonville, Brook Hill, Neches, Alto, and Slocum high schools experienced, first-hand, the dangers of mixing driving with alcohol.

Among the speakers was Olga Zapolsky, mother of Pasha Zapolsy, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2015. Carl Crabtree shattered Zapolsky's dreams when he made the decision to drive knowing he was intoxicated. He collided head-on to the SUV in which Zapolsky, Dana Register, and three of her kids were in.

"It's a big priviledge to talk to students and to touch their hearts, because I think I can use this chance and my story can influence their life," said Zapolsky. She believes it's her duty to create awareness.

According to TxDOT, 93 people under the age of 20 were killed in alcohol-related crashes. Experts say, for every 15 minutes, at least one teen dies in drunk driving wrecks.

The event, however, wasn't just a message for students, but for parents also. "You can tell those eyes when you're having a problem, they're down, they're depressed, they're fatigued, they're worn out, they're thinking about suicide, pay attention, step out of the box," said Patti Foster, a motivational speaker. Parents play a big factor in keeping teens on track to make the right decisions.

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