Local News

Hundreds remember Wake teen killed in crash

Posted August 24, 2014 6:41 p.m. EDT
Updated August 25, 2014 5:41 a.m. EDT

— 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."