Hurdle Mills, N.C. — 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.