Local News

Teens who died in wreck were racing, troopers say

Posted January 2, 2013

— Two teens who died over the weekend when their pickup truck ran off the road in Orange County were racing another teenage driver, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Wednesday.

William Daniel Chase Underhill, of Durham, and Kacie Leann Chamberlain, of Rougemont, both 16, were pronounced dead at the scene. They were juniors at Orange High School in Hillsborough.

Passengers McCray Williams, 15, of Mebane, and Sam Whaley, 16, suffered serious injuries and were hospitalized.

Troopers said Underhill lost control of the pickup on Little River Church Road, about a mile from Mary Hall Road. The truck went off the left side of the road, and he over-corrected, running off the right side of the road and striking a mailbox and tree.

Trooper Greg Ingram, who responded to the wreck, said investigators learned about the illegal racing from interviews with the survivors. Troopers don't have an estimated speed for the truck when it crashed.

The other driver, 17-year-old Collin Lunsford, is facing several charges in connection with the crash.

A funeral service for Underhill was held Wednesday afternoon at New Horizon Church in Durham, where visitors donned camouflage to honor the teen.

“It was just a really cool tribute to him,” said the Rev. Jamie McDonald, pastor at New Horizon. “He was an outdoorsman, loved to hunt, loved to be outdoors.”

Friends of Underhill and Chamberlain put up a roadside memorial at the crash site in an effort to make sense of the tragedy.

“We can't answer why. We don't know why. There's no explanation,” McDonald said. “We try to stay away from the whole ‘it’s God's will’ thing because we don't want to presume to know God's will.

“I think the most important thing that we'll try to focus on is to learn to be there for one another, care for one another, love one another, just support one another in any way and every way possible,” he said.

McDonald said the parents are coping with support from family and friends.

“It's tough,” he said. “Very few people can say I understand what it’s like, I know what it’s like, and so they're about as well as anybody could be at this point and time.”

Orange County High School postponed basketball games scheduled for Friday to Jan. 11.

36 Comments

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  • marciamal1 Jan 10, 2:45 p.m.

    i agree with btneast - teens are too irresponsible to drive at 16 - too dangerous behind the wheel.

  • heelsgirl05 Jan 7, 2:37 p.m.

    Also, if anyone is under 16 in the car with no seatbelt, the driver gets the ticket. however, if the passenger is 16 or older, the passenger gets the ticket

  • heelsgirl05 Jan 7, 2:36 p.m.

    luvbailey- They can't have more than 1 passenger under the age of 18 in the car, unless one is a relative. They get their provisional (6 months) license after having their permit for at least 1 year, or you can take drivers ed and go to the DMV when you are 18 and get your drivers license. On the 6 month license, they can't drive after 9 unless they are coming from work or involved in a sporting event. after 6 months they can get their full license and can drive whenever and wherever they want (according to state laws, parental laws may vary household to household ;) )

  • richynorma Jan 4, 4:19 p.m.

    OUR PRAYER FOR HIS FAMILY, WE KNOW HE IS IN THE BEST HANDS NOW AND FOREVER,
    FOR THE GUY WHO KILL HIM SORRY FOR YOUR SOUL AS YOU WILL NEVER NEVER NEVER TAKE AWAY THAT GUILTY OF YOUR OFF YOUR MIND.

  • btneast Jan 4, 2:53 p.m.

    This is why 99% of the time teenagers have no business driving.

    Some truth to that, but driving is how they get experience.

  • irishgirlsarepretty Jan 4, 1:53 p.m.

    This is why 99% of the time teenagers have no business driving.

  • Mom V Jan 3, 4:36 p.m.

    My heart goes out to all involved. These kids made a stupid mistake that cost them their lives. If after this just one kid realizes that they are not "10 ft tall and bullet proof" and slows down who knows how many lives will be saved. I certainly let my son who is about to start drivers ed, read all these articles. Only by the grace of God, I will never get this call for the police. My prayers to the all involved.

  • mrsox05 Jan 3, 10:40 a.m.

    Somebody refresh me on the rules pertaining to 16 year old drivers having passengers in their vehicles.luvbailey

    everyone have on a seatblet. must be home by 930 if on a restricted license. lrfarms27572

    *1. Everyone must have on a seat belt regardless of age and whether you are sitting in the front or the back. 2. They can also only have 1 other occupant unless it is a sibling/relative... There are lots of rules a lot of them don't follow. I made my daughter sign a contract when she got her license and her car. She had to abide by my rules as well as the states or she was not allowed to drive.

    This is SAD indeed, but could have been prevented.

  • delta29alpha Jan 3, 9:54 a.m.

    All you can do is educate and try to instill responsibility in you kid and hope that when the time comes they will make the right decisions. Some kids will learn from this accident but there are some that will not. teenagers feel invincible to a degree, and do things on impulse without thinking it through, it's the nature of the beast. Street racing is certainly not anything new it's been a problem since cars were invented. Kids at this age are at the edge of adult hood and have to be given responsibilities, some can handle it but unfortunately some do not.

  • melholleran Jan 3, 9:16 a.m.

    I'm not understanding the comment that we don't know why this happened? The kids were racing and lost control. Please let this help other teens understand the dangers of such behavior. Not unlike drunk driving fatalities, we don't need the gory details but for edification only.

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