GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - The memorial for the teen who died after he was struck by a vehicle and killed last Sunday , is set for Saturday, March 16, at Christian Life Church in Orange Beach. A former Gulf Shores juvenile officer will lead the service for Hunter Hale-Sorensen.
Billy Berrey of the Gulf Shores Police Department is a former juvenile officer and former pastor, two trades that have made him close with the kids in the community.
The day after the accident, Hunter's mother asked him to lead the service.
"One, it's an honor to be asked. And two, it is a great responsibility to get up and have however many kids are going to be there, I assume a few hundred kids that are going, to be listening to what I have to say. I take a great responsibility in being a mentor to the kids in this community," Berrey said.
Some expect ‘standing room only' as Berrey delivers a message of hope and living life to the fullest. He said he'll encourage everyone to remember the good times with Hunter.
"All of his friends talk about how much he cared about other people, how he was concerned more about others than himself. I know him a little bit, but I think I would have really enjoyed hanging out with Hunter," Berrey said.
The teen was killed Sunday, March 10. Police said Hunter lost control of his skateboard descending the ramp in a parking garage at a condo off Beach Blvd. He ended up in the road and was struck by a vehicle.
It's the type of tragedy that Berrey said requires a special type of sermon.
"When we have a child in the community who dies, it's a real shock to the whole psyche of kids because they don't think about death. So this brings them to a reality of their mortality," Berrey said. "They just don't think they're going to die."
It's fitting that as hundreds of eyes look up to the stage where he speaks, Berrey will draw from Hunter's life and the type of person the young man was.
"Hopefully they will, as one of his friends told me, ‘Be encouraged to live like he lived.' He helped others more than anything else."
Hunter's memorial is Saturday, March 16, at 5 p.m. at the Christian Life Church in Orange Beach.
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