After Chase Benton and his best friend Destiny Tapley died in car accidents two years apart, Benton’s family found a touching love letter addressed to him from Tapley.
Benton and Tapley had known each other since pre-school and remained friends during their years at Reeltown High School in Reeltown, Alabama, WSFA reports.
Tapley died on Dec. 9, 2012, after the car she was riding in was overturned, and she neglected to wear her seatbelt. She was 15 years old at the time, and in her obituary, displayed on Corbitt's Funeral Home Facebook page, she is described as a "vibrant young lady who lived life to the fullest."
According to Danielle Barnett, Chase Benton’s mother, Tapley was Benton’s first love. Barnett added that the anguish her son felt following Tapley’s death broke her heart.
Benton died two years later, on Nov. 5, 2014, according to his obituary displayed on oanow.com. His death resulted from a similar car crash, in which he also was not wearing a seatbelt. He was 16 years old at the time.
Recently, near the anniversary of Benton's death, his family found a hidden box with a love letter in it addressed to him from Tapley.
(Love letter found by Chase Benton's family. Photo Credit: WSFA)
“It really touched me after all these years he saved it and for that reason their love lives on forever,” Barnett told WSFA. “Love always wins.”
Since the letter was found, friends of the late teens have said it’s inspired them to live more fully and “Chase their Destiny.”
“We don’t have to stop living life just because they’re not here anymore,” Logan Hepburn, a classmate, said. “This should make us want to do more with our lives and do it for them because they’re not here to do it.”
Both families have noted that the teens’ deaths should be a reminder to buckle up on the road.