Enquirer Herald

Illegal race leaves 3 dead

Hunter Holt
Hunter Holt

CLOVER -- Hunter Holt loved his Tar Heels basketball team -- but he didn't get to see them play for a national championship Monday night. Hunter, 13, was one of three people to die after a Saturday crash in Mecklenburg County that police say was caused by racing cars.

Holt's classmates in the eighth grade at Clover Junior High School Monday wore his favorite colors of purple, white and lime green, to honor the classmate who died so young.

The school was somber Monday as staff and students tried to deal with Hunter's death. There was anguish and anger, hurt and confusion on campus as a squad of counselors and pastors from area churches met with anyone who needed comfort.

The hardest was in Hunter's classes, where there was an empty desk; Principal Mark Hopkins said.

Many in the Clover school district were affected by the crash. Another Clover student, Clover Middle School fifth grader Rex Thomas, 11, was riding with Hunter in a car driven by Tyler Stephen Stasko, 20.

The kids were on their way home from Carowinds, Hunter's father, Daniel, told WSOC-TV, news partner of The Herald, and his parents thought a responsible adult was driving the car.

Clover Middle School Principal Kathy Weathers said she visited with Rex and his mother at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte on Sunday night before Rex was released. His injuries were not severe, Weathers said.

"He is a very fortunate young man," Weathers said. "We all love Rex here. If he needs until after spring break (April 20) to come back, fine. We can't wait to have him back."

Hunter's mother, Lisa, is a teacher assistant with the pre-kindergarten program housed at Clover High School; his sister, Savanah, is a ninth-grader at the high school, said Tommy Schmolze, Clover High principal.

"When school was over, Hunter would walk over and help his mother with the kids," Schmolze said.

The crash Saturday also claimed the lives of Winthrop University professor Cynthia Furr and her 2-year-old daughter. Furr was the intern advisor to one of Clover's student teachers.

"This has been a tough day in this tight-knit Clover community," Schmolze said.

Hunter Holt was active in a youth group at New River Community Church and received an all-conference award in the fall for his performance as an offensive lineman on the eighth-grade football team.

The family received friends Tuesday evening at M.L Ford & Sons Funeral Home in Lake Wylie, and the funeral was held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the church.

Police say drag racing led to wreck.