Local News

Hundreds remember Wake teen killed in crash

Posted August 24, 2014
Updated August 25, 2014

— Less than 48 hours after Madison Pearce cheered on the Wake Christian Academy football team as a member of the cheerleading squad, hundreds returned to same field to mourn her death.

Pearce, 16, was killed Saturday afternoon when her SUV crossed the center line at Piney Grove Wilbon Road and Wade Nash Road in Holly Springs and collided head-on with a pickup truck.

The pickup truck driver was not seriously injured.

For Carey Barnette, Pearce's best friend since the sixth grade, her last memory of the high school senior was of her on the field.

"After the game, she came running up to me and gave me a hug and said 'I love you and I'll see you Monday,'" she said.

Barnette spent Sunday afternoon at a prayer and remembrance service at the field.

"At first, I was really angry,” she said. “I was wondering 'why her?' She was so sweet to everyone. She was one of the most godly people in our grade."

It wasn't immediately known what caused Pearce to cross the center line.

Investigators said neither alcohol nor speed was a factor in the crash.

The incident remains under investigation.

Wake Christian Head of School Mike Woods tried to help students make sense out of Pearce's death.

"Having lived a few years, I’m able to relay that to our students and give them the encouragement that God is in control,." he said. "He has a plan, a purpose, for everything that happens."

Woods remembered Pearce recently helping a new student adjust to the school by making her a handmade card.

"Her life meant something," he said. "It will continue to mean something."


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  • KniftyKnitter Aug 25, 2014

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    My family is friends with one of the firefighters on scene and their thoughts were that she over-corrected. None of us really know what happened, and until an official report comes out, it's all speculation. My heart is breaking for this very sweet girl and all of her family. For those who do, please pray for Madison's parents, family, friends, and her WCA family. Her sweet smile and spirit will be missed.

  • Grand Union Aug 25, 2014

    "I have no idea what could have prevented Madison's death, and that's not a question to ask here, when her parents are grieving.
    Read more at http://www.wral.com/hundreds-remember-wake-teen-killed-in-crash/13920586/#uDPsPsXk3SoP0IGa.99"

    100% wrong, because in a few days life for everyone else apart from the family and very close friends will have moved on......if texting, not wearing a seatbelt or another thing was a factor in the accident and/or its severity, it needs to made loud and clear now, so that it will sink into the heads of all those others kids (and adults). Nothing can bring Madison back....but its likely a lesson learned now, when the reality of the situation is fresh in their minds, can prevent another child from dying and another family in mourning.

  • EricaSliver Aug 25, 2014

    tragic...my thoughts are with her family and friends. She was a beautiful young lady.

  • Tracy Watson Aug 25, 2014
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    Prayers for her family and for the couple in the truck. This is very near my home and the road is rural with lots of bends easy to veer over regardless of texting or not.

  • Shane Taylor Aug 25, 2014
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    A friend of a friend was the driver of the truck...Horrible horrible accident. From what I know, she was texting at the time...so yes, PLEASE put down your phones! Prayers to both family s.

  • Jim Buchanan Aug 25, 2014
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    Thank you! I will let them know there are people wishing them well thoughts also.

  • Betty Lanier Aug 25, 2014
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    Thankful that the driver of the truck was not seriously injured. I hope that he/she will be able to recover from this.

  • SAY 'WHAT" ONE MORE TIME! Aug 25, 2014

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    Article doesn't say she was on the phone. Good possibility, but...doesn't say it here

  • Jim Buchanan Aug 25, 2014
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    A "beginners permit" can be obtained at 15. The child cannot drive by themselves until they have a certain number of hours driving with an adult but, this can be easily forged. Other than that, at 16, they can drive after certain hours.

    This young lady looks like she was full of life. Those new commercials come to mind now where the two cars stop, the two drivers get out and talk, and then they get back into their cars and the accident happens.

    I am a parent of 3, 2 driving, and I worry about them everyday. I worry about their driving and others.

    So people, PLEASE!...put down your phone and pay attention. The odds are not worth the chance!!

  • NC Reader Aug 25, 2014

    What a terrible tragedy and a horrible thing to happen to what sounds like a very loving family.

    I have no idea what could have prevented Madison's death, and that's not a question to ask here, when her parents are grieving. However, I think we could prevent many other teenage driving fatalities in the future by making it harder to get a driver's license and have a higher minimum age. In European countries, the license ages are higher and the tests are more difficult to pass than the ridiculously easy tests we have here. On the other hand, there is much better public transportation in Europe for non-drivers.