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Community reflects on fatal wreck

Two crosses honoring Dr. Cynthia Furr and her daughter McAllister Price, mark the spot where both died, along with Hunter Holt, Saturday following a wreck at the RiverPoint Drive/Grand Palisades Parkway intersection of N.C. 49.
Two crosses honoring Dr. Cynthia Furr and her daughter McAllister Price, mark the spot where both died, along with Hunter Holt, Saturday following a wreck at the RiverPoint Drive/Grand Palisades Parkway intersection of N.C. 49.

STEELE CREEK -- The music went quiet on Saturday night at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church. But on Sunday, there will be singing.

Pleasant Hill is only one hurting community among many, devastated by the loss of its choir director of 20 years Dr. Cynthia Furr and her 2-year-old daughter McAllister Price in what police and onlookers describe as a street racing incident at the intersection of RiverPointe Drive/Grand Palisades Parkway and N.C. 49. Furr was exiting RiverPointe on her way to church when, police say, a car driven by Tyler Steven Stasko, 20, collided with hers.

Also killed by the wreck was 13-year-old Hunter Holt, an eighth-grader at Clover Junior High School. Holt was a passenger in Stasko's vehicle.

"Our hearts are pouring out for the whole family, as well as the Furr/Price family," said CJHS principal Mark Hopkins. "This is just a tragic situation."

Clover Junior High brought in counselors and trained professionals from throughout the district Monday, setting up triage centers for students but otherwise trying to let the day progress as normally as possible.

"We have a crisis plan that we put in place," Hopkins said Monday morning. "The goal is to try to be as normal as we can, understanding that this is a difficult situation. Students grieve in different ways. We've certainly got some students who are upset."

The loss was especially difficult, Hopkins said, on teachers of the student he noted as exemplary within the school.

"It's tough on the teachers, especially the teachers that taught Hunter the past two years," Hopkins said. "Along with the students, they're the ones who are bearing the brunt of it, because they're the ones in the classroom."

At New River Community Church, where Holt was a member, an impromptu service Sunday night brought a "standing room only" crowd, said community pastor Jesse Bowles.

"We talked together, cried together," he said. "It was a unique, special time for everybody that was there."

Prayers for Holt, as well as for their own, also came from Pleasant Hill, where many of the youth knew their classmate.

"We're praying for all the youth in those cars," said Nancy Nutter, director of Christian education.

Nutter said Monday plans were being made for Furr and Price, though Sunday's Easter service will be "dedicated to Cindy and Mackie."

"We wouldn't be at the level we are if she hadn't brought us there," Nutter said of Furr's service to the church, which included teaching preschool along with leading youth and adult choirs. "(The choir has) come alive and said we're going to carry on. She'd literally kick our butts if we didn't keep going after she worked so hard."

Nutter describes the Winthrop assistant professor, also with former experience at Olympic High School, as "the light of her family" and a woman who was "thrilled" to be a parent. Nutter also describes someone almost unbelievably full of energy.

"I often wondered if she slept," Nutter said. "She was tough, but they all loved her. She expected the best out of folks and she pushed you, but she expected it from herself, too."

And Price, Nutter said, already showed her mother's enthusiasm. Just last week at a church Easter egg hunt, Price marveled at the event and was "thrilled to death that the egg had chocolate in it," Nutter said.

Within 24 hours of setting up a new Facebook page for Furr and Price, about 600 people signed in to pay respects. The woman who sang her first solo at age 4 and followed her father's footsteps in becoming a choir director will have the 11 a.m. music service, titled Amazing Grace, performed in her honor.

For more information on the performance, visit pleasanthillpresby.com.

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