'Classic Carolina' family ripped apart after crash kills father, son

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Monday, September 11, 2023
'Classic Carolina' family ripped apart after crash kills father, son
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The family behind the 'Classic Carolina' clothing company in Chapel Hill is in mourning after a tragic crash.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- A popular store on Franklin Street that became a staple for UNC fans is now mourning the loss of its owner and his son who was set to take over the family business.

Flowers were placed by Classic Carolina on Franklin Street where a time of celebration turned to a time of mourning for the family of Kris and Dhuva Chellani.

Since 1993, the store was Dhruva Chellani's labor of love, getting Tar Heel fans geared up. But after three decades he was ready to retire and pass the baton to his son Kris.

"His dad put in everything he had, and he was so excited to retire," Kris' girlfriend Tanvi Bhandary said. "He was excited for his son to take over."

Kris, a UNC graduate, was splitting his time back home from New York renovating the family business.

"They worked together the last couple of months, every day," Bhandary said.

Saturday they were supposed to be celebrating the grand re-opening of the store.

"It was supposed to be a celebration. They had a ribbon cutting organized, a raffle, and so many exciting plans that unfortunately cannot be fulfilled right now," Bhandary said.

Instead, the family is planning two funerals. Kris, his dad Dhruva, and his mom Nina were driving home from a community event on Wednesday when they were hit head-on by another driver who swerved into their lane. Nina was taken to the hospital for surgery, and is listed in stable condition, the company says.

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Kris and Dhruva were killed in the crash.

Bhandary is remembering a life built on showing the good in others. Her boyfriend Kris built a viral TikTok following on a trend asking people on the streets of New York to keep money or double it and pass it along to the next person who might need it more.

"Kris just loved putting a smile on peoples' faces," Bhandary said.

And while it might take time, they hope one day those smiles will come back, just like Kris and Dhruva would have wanted.

"They were both incredibly generous and inspiring people and it's very unfortunate that their life was cut short," Bhandary said.

The company said Carolina Classic will be closed indefinitely.

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