Hurdle Mills, N.C. — 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.
"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."