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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -
Some Stevens Point students saw their efforts to make the roads a little safer pay off.
The students at Pacelli High School worked to bring a distracted driving simulator to their school after tragedy hit. Last spring, a Pacelli graduate died in a drunken driving crash.
"Just seeing how it affected everyone else around him, like, what a big part of the community he really was, it hurts me just to know everyone else is so sad by this," said Pacelli senior Courtney Kizewski.
Wisconsin state patrol officials say high schoolers are in the age group most likely to die in a crash.
"That's why it's so important for us to get the message out to this age group because it's happening at their own hand," said Wisconsin State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable.
Four Pacelli students raised more than $10,000 to buy an impaired driving simulator.
"It's a very big problem in our community, and it happens a lot more than people like to think it does," said Pacelli senior Katie Olson.
The team bought the simulator as part of a community service competition. They say they hope the simulator will have a lasting impact on students.
"Maybe when they are in the car by themselves, they will make that decision to put their phone down and concentrate on what they're supposed to be doing," said Olson.
Pacelli teens are the first students to use the new simulator.
"It was pretty similar to actual driving," said Pacelli sophomore Troy Flugaur.
Students say it makes them think twice about texting and driving.
"It shows you how easily and quickly you can just get into an accident if you take your eyes off the road for five seconds," said Flugaur.
It's an important lesson meant to save lives.
The Pacelli students who raised the money to purchase the driving simulator are making plans to share it with other local high schools.
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