Local radio station surprises Triad family

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. —A car accident in October took the life of Kari Underwood Barnes and left family members wondering how they would give her two young children a memorable Christmas.

Her children are now living with Kari’s mother and the kids’ Christmas looked dim.

But this morning, radio station 107.5 WKZL came to the rescue with its annual breaking and entering Christmas tradition.

Starting before the sun came up, the “elves” from WKZL’s “Jared and Katie in the Morning” were busy hauling bundles of presents into the wood frame house in the Linwood community of Davidson County.

Karolyn Underwood and her 2 grandchildren, Kaleb, 10 and Alexa, 8, were away from the house eating breakfast with family members who were in on the surprise.

WKZL chose this family for its annual Break-In after getting a letter from the children’s aunt, Stacey Underwood.

“They were in the car with her at the time of the accident and they witnessed everything that happened.” Stacey said.

In the letter she wrote she told the story of how the children watched as rescue workers removed their Mom from the mangled car.

“As the paramedics arrived on the scene they heard the children screaming, Please I don’t want my mommy to die.” WKZL DJ Jared Pike read the letter aloud on the radio show.

Family members waited inside the house for the family to come home to the surprise.

When Kaleb and Alexa walked thru the door, you could see their faces light up.

Watching the excitement, their Grandma, Karolyn Underwood couldn’t help but reflect on how tough this has been on the 8 and 10 year old.

“I didn’t want them the best Christmas they had was when Mommy died.” said Underwood.

And although their father has taken over the role of two parents, it’s still very touch and go emotionally.

“They have their time sometimes, they breakdown and cry. All you can do is hold em and talk to them about it.” said their father, B.J. Barnes

Kari was Karolyn’s youngest of 4 children.

“She was the baby. So you know, the healing, I don’t know if that’s ever gonna happen.”

For now though, today’s surprise is a good distraction from a tough reality.

“It’s awesome.” said Kaleb

“I like it. And I like the surprise!” said Alexa

And the whole family gave a great big Thank You to WKZL and the “Jared and Katie in the Morning” crew for picking them.

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