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Two teens killed in wreck near Hillsborough

Posted December 30, 2012

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— Two 16-year-olds died and two teens were injured late Saturday when their pickup ran off a road in northern Orange County and hit a tree, authorities said.

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

"They were both really good people, and everyone loved them," their classmate Bryce Potterfield said.

"Everbody at Orange High, everybody in Hillsborough, we're all a family. We do everything together," junior McKenzie Almers said. She called Chamberlain her "best friend in the world."

Passengers McCray Williams, 15, of Mebane, and Sam Whaley, 16, suffered serious injuries and were in fair condition at Duke Hospital Sunday.

State troopers said Underhill lost control of the pickup around 10:30 p.m. 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 was with his teenaged son when he got a call telling him to be on stand-by to respond to the wreck.

Classmates grieve for Orange High teens killed in wreck Classmates grieve for Orange High teens killed in wreck

"Being a parent, it hits close to home," said Ingram, who also teaches driver's education at Orange High. "But no. 2, being someone who works through the Orange County school system and driver's ed, that's something else."

Investigators said speeding was a factor in the crash, and none of the teens was wearing a seat belt. They were all in the front seat.

"Don't speed, and always wear your seat belt. You don't know whose life you could be changing or whose life you could be saving," Almers said. "If they had been wearing their seat belt and going the speed limit, all of this could have been avoided."

8 Comments

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  • Deb1003 Jan 2, 4:24 p.m.

    Why don't kids wear seatbelts? It's one simple thing to do that can be the difference between life or death. BUCKLE UP!

  • btneast Jan 2, 10:26 a.m.

    One wonders if there is a way to teach how to safely run off a road

    ....I wonder as well. One can't teach experience. Several issues here......4 people in a seat with seat belts for only 3, not wearing any seat belts, and speeding. 16 year olds are supposedly restricted to how many passengers they can have as well.....or used to be. Mix all that up with the invulnerability that teens all think they have, and this is all too often what happens. The driving age of 16 has been around for way longer than any of us has been alive.....I really don't think raising it to 18 will make a difference. Keeping newly minted drivers on a short leash until they get more wheel time may be better. I know I did some stupid things in a car when I was young like that, my number just never came up. Peer pressure and the need to be cool and accepted is very strong at that age, much stronger than adult rules.

  • Yellow Rider Dec 31, 2:10 p.m.

    One wonders if there is a way to teach how to safely run off a road. So often an inexperienced driver runs off the shoulder and over-corrects, like what is described here.

  • marciamal1 Dec 31, 12:58 p.m.

    So sad, but how many accidents have been involved with these teens that take to the wheel without more responsibility and maturity. I pray that they change the age of driving to 18 - when these teens are more mature to handle the road. My thoughts and prayers go out to all these teens families and I pray that the ones that survived can overcome this tragic experience.

  • irie44 Dec 31, 12:25 p.m.

    what a shame

  • GALNC Dec 31, 9:56 a.m.

    Prayers to the families of those involved.

  • cruzinlong Dec 31, 9:09 a.m.

    this is so sad, too many kids going too early .

  • Scubagirl Dec 31, 8:11 a.m.

    So very tragic. Two more gone too soon.