Today in Liberty, a family grieves, while friends and classmates remain shocked at the death of 17-year-old Quentin Underhill, a Liberty High School junior who died of an apparent drug and alcohol overdose following a party held on Dec. 29, 2012 (Koppelman and Pekarsky 1).
Classmates remember Underhill as a good guy who was always smiling.
“’I just know that he was a big part of our school and we’ll all miss him a lot,’ said sophomore Mariah Holley” (Koppelman and Pekarsky 1).
“Another student, senior Haley Slaton, says that Underhill was a nice, laid-back guy. “’Everyone in the school knows him,’ said Slaton” (Koppelman and Pekarsky 1).
Friends remember the upbeat junior as a student who was already planning for college and looking toward the future.
"’He always cheered everyone up in a big room. He always made people laugh. He was a really good kid,’ said friend Kelsey Rutliff” (www.kmbc.com 1).
"’I can't even explain this feeling that all of us teens are feeling and his family. I can't explain it,’ said friend Brooke Brownfield. ‘So many people loved him. He's such a great person’” (www.KMBC.com 1).
Friends and family of Quentin Underhill started the formal grieving process Friday night at a visitation at Pleasant Valley Church. His funeral is this morning, Saturday, January 12, at 9 a.m. at St. Charles Catholic Church, 900 NE Shady Lane Drive.
Liberty Police are hoping that this will also begin discussions and communications between teenagers, parents and adults who work with teens regarding the topic of drugs and alcohol (McCallister and Schmidt 1). Police are calling Underhill’s death accidental, but the cause being related to drugs and alcohol is the reason why parents should be talking to their kids about drugs and alcohol (McCallister and Schmidt 1).
Back at Liberty High School, students say that Underhill’s death has been an eye-opening experience.
“’This should really be an eyeopener for all of Liberty,’ said Slaton. ‘Kids everywhere just they don’t realize our bodies aren’t as strong as we think they are, and we should take more care about stuff like that because this is terrible. No one wants this to happen to their son or daughter’” (Koppelman and Pekarsky 1).
Liberty Police have said no charges have been filed and none are being pursued against any adult. Charges may be brought up against some minors for possession of alcohol.
“Friends Remember Liberty Teen who Died after Party; Drug, Alcohol Overdose Eyed in Quentin Underhill's Death.” www.KMBC.com January 11, 2013.
Koppelman, Tess and Pekarsky, Michelle. “Liberty H.S. Teen Dies from Overdose After Party.” www.fox4kc.com January 11, 2013.
McCallister, Laura and Schmidt, Justin. “Student's Death Sparks Conversation about Drug Dangers.” www.kctv5.com January 11, 2013.