A moment of silence was held on Monday morning at a high school in Kannapolis, as teenage classmates and friends remembered a teenage Boy Scout who fell to his death during a weekend camping trip at a North Carolina state park.
"He was all around a good guy," Friend Nicole Spencer said. "He was always happy go lucky. Everywhere he had a smile on his face and he made people feel better."
Christopher Overcash, 16, was on a weekend trip to Stone Mountain State Park in Wilkes County with Boy Scout Troop 128, based out of Concord.
On Saturday, the group went hiking on the steep, granite face of the mountain, a spokesman for the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation told WBTV. Around noon on Saturday, Overcash fell nearly 500 feet from the summit.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Park officials say three rock climbers saw the teenage fall. One was a doctor and rushed to save Overcash but it was too late.
A rock painted outside A.L. Brown High School, in Kannapolis, read "RIP Chris Overcash 2014." Friends, family and classmates gathered around the rock Sunday for a candlelight vigil.
Grief counselors at were on hand at the high school Monday morning to help students cope with Overcash's death.
"Teenagers aren't used to people dying," Counselor Angela Ward said. "One of their own age, losing someone they see everyday - so it's very hard for them."
"He was very good with his school work. He like made a big difference in the school, if you needed help you could always go to him," one classmate told WBTV.
"You never saw him without a smile on his face and he gave the best hugs."
The school set up a memorial page for Overcash on its website, giving students a place to honor the young scout.
"As we mourn the loss of our Wonder brother and Boy Scout, we ask that you share your stories and memories about by sharing your stories," the page stated.
"You will forever be in our hearts. The Overcash family is in my thoughts and prayers as well as all of his friends mourning the loss of such a joyful boy," Katelyn H posted. "He never failed to smile in class. He will forever be missed. "
Another post simply stated, "I Love You CJ you are one of a kind and you will be missed!"
The sister of another fall victim posted on the page as well. She says her brother fell to his death at Stone Mountain in June.
"I know that many people will try to say encouraging [sic] words, but they don't know what to say because they have not been their [sic]," she wrote. "But, even on this side of things I still don't know what to say. Just know that you are in our prayers and close to our hearts!"
A spokesman for state Parks and Recreation said the group was hiking nearly 100 yards off the marked trail, when Overcash fell to his death.
There are reportedly signs in place near the scene of accident, warning hikers to go at their own risk. An investigation is now underway to determine if there is anymore state officials can do to help keep hikers safe.
While the investigation is underway, officials have this warning for hikers.
"We certainly don't recommend leave the trail no more than a couple of yards," State Parks PIO Charlie Peek said. "With that in mind, many people do scatter over this granite dome. They were in an area they shouldn't have been in, but probably further into that area than they should have been."
The Boy Scouts are also responding to the teen's death. Officials there say there focus is on the scouts.
"Today is an extremely difficult day for our entire Scouting family," A scout official said in a statement to WBTV.
"The health and safety of our youth members is of paramount importance to the Boys Scouts of America. At this time we have arranged for counselors to meet with members of the troop and we will continue to assist the family and Scouts with their needs. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of this Scout."
Scout officials say 11 to 13 boys were on the trip. They are doing their own investigation as are park officials.
Visitation for Chris will be Wednesday September 26th from 4:00 - 5:45 PM at High Rock Community Church in Kannapolis followed immediately by a Celebration of Life Service at 6:00 PM.
High Rock is located at 1310 N Cannon Blvd, Kannapolis NC.
In lieu of flowers, send memorials to Cabarrus Pets Society P.O. Box 5042 Concord, NC 28027 or to Boy Scout Troop 128 1030 Burrage Rd. Concord, NC 28025
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