Program in the Triad to prevent deadly teen crashes

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Steve Zimmerman created the program Vehicle Injury Prevention for a Very Important Person where he and first responders visit schools, warning teens about driving while impaired, texting and driving and other dangers.

"It only takes that one second and then it changes lives forever," Zimmerman said.

Sami Faydi, 16, and Jacob Goeke, 17, died after the car they were in crashed into a tree Saturday night in High Point.

On Dec. 10, 16-year-old Marco Escamilla died in a car crash in Thomasville.

Police say alcohol and speeding were factors in both crashes.

"I hate that for their parents because they probably had no idea what their child was going to be doing that night," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman is a retired firefighter with the Greensboro Fire Department.

"We respond to the crashes,” he said. “We get the blood on our hands first."

He says he’s seen way too many teens die on the road which is why he started the program about 20 years ago.

"We can wait until the call comes in and respond to it or we can try to get in front of the problem," he said.

Zimmerman says each teen in the program walks away with this same powerful message.

"When you get those keys in your hands and you're going to be driving that vehicle, you're responsible not only for yourself and the ones that are in the car but the ones that coming towards you," he said.

More than 200,000 teens have taken part in the VIP for a VIP program.

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