Students mourn after classmate dies in fall

by: Holly Maynard Updated:

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CONCORD, N.C. —

As the North Carolina State Park Service investigates the death of a Kannapolis student who died while hiking over the weekend, his fellow students are remembering him as a popular, social and inquisitive teenager.

Chris Overcash fell from a cliff Saturday while hiking with his Boy Scout troop in Stone Mountain State Park in Wilkes County.

On Monday, fellow students went to the spirit rock outside of A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis and left candles, flowers and other items to remember him. Inside the school, a constant stream of students, many fighting back tears, left messages of remembrance on large banners in the hallway.

"I put 'Rest in peace Chris, you will truly be missed.' He was a great friend," said Lyric West.

Overcash had only been at the school a little over a year, but he had already made quite an impression.

"He had a lot of friends," said principal Kevin Garay.

There are more than 1,400 students in the school, and Chris was one that Garay knew well.

"Regardless of if it was students or adults, you could see him talking to someone all the time," Garay said.

The two even spoke a couple of times on Friday before the 16-year-old left on his trip with his Boy Scout troop. He was hiking with several other scouts and his foster dad, a troop master. Eyewitness News was told he and two other scouts wandered away from the trail to a very steep section of the summit. He fell about 500 feet.

Eyewitness News asked the Boy Scouts and the Park Service for more information about the circumstances that led up to his death, but was told the investigation into what happened is still ongoing, and it's unclear how long the investigation will take.

Meantime, his friends are joining together to grieve. Brittany Bossardet wrote his name on her hand Monday.

"I liked seeing his name. It just reminded me of him. It was just something I could do to kind of bring him back in a way,” she said.

The high school students told Eyewitness News they are unfortunately becoming used to tragedy. Overcash's death is the sixth student death they've experienced in the last two years.