Red Ribbon Week starts with an emotional lesson

FRESNO, Calif.

Students at one local high school received a unique lesson - a personal visit from a family affected by DUI.

Shawna Green, her daughter Siera and her son's best friend Blake, know firsthand what it's like to lose a loved one to drinking and driving.

This after Green's son, Nicholas Eckland, 19, crashed into a tree on Cedar near Ashlan nearly 9 years ago. He and two passengers, some of his closest friends were killed by the impact. His kid sister Siera was just 9-years-old and says she was robbed of getting to know her older brother.

Monday, the three spent the day at Clovis West High School - speaking to students as part of Red Ribbon Week.

They talked about how Eckland's one bad decision changed their entire lives and how they're still coping with their loss. They urged others not to drink and drive or get in a car with someone who has. And their message seemed to reach the students.

"It's really powerful and I was tearing up. I can't imagine what that would be like," said Emily Sorensen. "We see it on TV, but that's real for them and they have to live everyday knowing they're not going to see him again."

"It really helped me," said Bri Diebert. "But hearing things like this make it more powerful, makes me not want to do it even more."

Powerful words, the family hopes students will live by, not only in high school, but their entire lives.

More events are planned all week at Clovis High and other Valley schools. School leaders say it's a great way for kids to see the consequences their decisions have on their lives as well as those around them.

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