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Pastor: Tragic death of 5-year-old is 'worst thing that can happen to a mom and dad'

Posted December 28, 2016

Chris Peltz

— Chris Peltz, a pastor at Newhope Church Hillsborough Campus has seen people through hard times. But helping the Copeland family through the sudden loss of their 5-year-old son, Everett, is the hardest by far, he said.

Everett Copeland died Monday when he was hit by a runaway construction truck while playing with friends in his driveway.

"There are few days in my role as a pastor that I ever want to quit and these are some of them. The raw emotion. My job as a pastor is to love people. That's what I want to do and sometimes love hurts," Peltz said.

He said this scenario is every parent's worst nightmare.

"This hits every parent," he said. "These are the things that, as parents, we worry about. It's the worst possible thing that can ever possibly happen to a mom and dad."

Peltz met with Everett's family. Neighbors said a growing memorial for Copeland has begun at the crash site and his death has brought them all closer together, but not for a reason they would have wanted.

"I met with some neighbors today who were there, who were the first people out of their doors to see that. One of the first responders is a member of our church," Peltz said. "So, we've been able to speak with her and try to find out ways we can love and encourage not only her, but her team."

Peltz said Everett is now in heaven.

"We believe he is there. That he is happy. He is alive. That he is singing like he's never sung before and that we get to celebrate him," Peltz said.

Everett's funeral is tentatively scheduled for Friday.

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  • Benjamin Kite Dec 29, 2016
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    A really dumb male reporter was on the news last night saying "calling it murder or not was tough call". No it isn't, fool. 1-No criminal intent, 2-improbability the boy's body would line up with the path of the truck, 3-no formal professional safety training. There is no room for educated debate about a murder charge. Deport the delinquent, and sue the company that hired him.