Underhill remembered as loving, big-hearted
Images flashing onscreen showed a red-cheeked Chase Underhill, pinning a wrestling opponent, goofing around with a dog, embracing his girlfriend or showing off a buck he had hunted through the woods.
Some images, like those of Underhill opening presents, are time-stamped from Christmas Day 2012 – little more than a week earlier.
A medley of songs played with the photographs, including “All the Girls Wanna Ride” by Jawga Boyz:
“All four wheels diggin’, this ain’t a game, havin’ fun, ain’t you girl?
Bet you glad that you came.”
That song ended with the line “Got some dip, man?” and drew laughter from an otherwise somber crowd.
More than 600 people, many of them camouflage-clad students from Orange and Cedar Ridge high schools who knew the 16-year-old hunter and wrestler, packed New Horizon Church off U.S. 70 near Interstate 85.
They gathered Wednesday afternoon to mourn Underhill, who died about 10:30 p.m. Saturday when the Ford F-250 pickup truck he was driving with three passengers went off Little River Church Road and struck a tree. Neither Underhill nor his passengers wore seat belts, investigators said. The crash also killed Kacie Chamberlain, 16, cousin of Underhill’s girlfriend, Devon Chamberlain. Their friends, McCray Williams and Sam Whaley, survived.
Colin Lunsford, Devon’s ex-boyfriend, was charged in connection with the wreck. Investigators say that Lunsford and Underhill arranged to race each other that night.
The Rev. Jamie McDonald led the church service Wednesday. He read Underhill’s last letter, addressed to Devon, before the crowd.
“Well, you may be hard to love sometimes, but you are the only one I love,” Underhill wrote. “And yes, we may fight, but that’s gonna happen. What matters is we make it through. That’s love. And it will always prevail.”
The reverend talked about how hard the loss must be for those closest to a young and promising life cut short.
“Right now, so many of you are thinking, ‘If only I could ride with Chase one more time. And who could blame you?” McDonald said. “This young man, so full of life, so full of love, with a heart as big as that 12-point buck he was hunting after.”
McDonald urged those in attendance to provide comfort to Underhill’s family not just now in the immediate aftermath of the accident, but in the months and years to come.
“They need you to keep on loving them and keep checking on them and keep talking about Chase each and every day,” he said.
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