Chesterman family joins Every 15 Minutes assembly at Chico High

Apr 24, 2014 7:26 PM

The parents of two young women who lost their lives to tragic traffic accidents shared their stories with students at Chico High School this afternoon. It was all part of “Every 15 Minutes,” a two day event that takes a realistic look at the deadly consequences of drinking and driving.

Students from Chico High and the Inspire School surely felt the effect of a powerful presentation Thursday at the Chico High gymnasium.

“Stay at your friends house, [or] even sleep in your car,” said Chico High School Senior Bobby Easter. “I have done that...I was safe, you know?”

The event was impactful, because everything, and everyone, was very real.

“I wasn't trying to sugarcoat anything,” Easter said.” “It's reality. Look at it. It's a wake-up call. This whole program is a wake-up call.”

“I’ve been in a car with a drunk person driving and I'm not doing it again like after seeing this,” said Chico High Senior and foreign exchange student Alba Barrutieta.” “It opens your eyes.”

Barrutieta is an exchange student from Northern Spain, and said education on drunk driving there is nowhere like what happened here over the past couple of days.

You could hear a pin drop as the families of fatal traffic accidents shared their stories and sent the simple message of “don’t drink and drive.”

Students heard from a familiar face in John Nickerson, a Chico High teacher who lost his daughter Janee Nickerson in a tragic car-bicycle collision.

Then the Chesterman's spoke. They lost their daughter, Kristina, to an alleged drunk driver in September of last year.

“I told her she couldn't leave us,” recounted Sandra Chesterman, Kristina’s mother. “I told her how much I loved her, and I begged her to respond in some way.”

“There's no reason to drink and drive,” added Dave Chesterman, Kristina’s father. “It isn't cool, it isn't daring or brave or whatever else you might think. It's stupid and selfless and thoughtless. It ruins people's lives. It destroys their lives forever.”

These words hit home for Bobby Easter, who has two sisters.

“If they died because of a drunk driver, I have no idea what I would do. Seriously this has been a complete life-changing experience for me,” Easter said.

Because he was one of the dead actors, Easter has had to play dead.

“My mom-she's been texting me, calling me, [like] ‘hey where are you at?’ And I couldn't talk to her because I was supposed to be dead,” Easter said.

“I didn't even get to say I love you mom before she went to work or write her a note.”

But he's about to call her, because he's alive again, and it's been a couple of days.

Every 15 Minutes was a collaboration between a variety of agencies, including local law enforcement, Chico Unified School District, and Enloe Medical Center.


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