A sign outside a Pelion grocery store. (Source: Jack Kuenzie)
PELION, SC (WIS) -
Across the small town of Pelion, the news is sinking in.
"She's a really good person just to know," said Maddison Aaron. "Like, she impacted so many people. Like everybody loved Paige."
Thursday morning, roughly 700 miles away, the U.S. Coast Guard found 17-year-old Paige Widmer's body in Lake Erie.
Friends say she was in Ohio visiting her father.
"She had a big heart," Aaron said. "She could make anybody laugh and anybody smile. She was just one of these people that everyone wanted to be around. She had such a wonderful personality. She could just bring out the best in everybody, really."
Aaron and her friends played volleyball with Widmer at Pelion High School where Widmer was also a great student.
Thursday afternoon, just hours before the Ottawa County Sheriff confirmed that Widmer was dead, Aaron and other students gathered at the high school to pray.
"We tried to form it as a community," Aaron said. "That way, we could handle it all together and not just individually."
Back in Ohio, deputies and Coast Guardsmen continue searching for two people believed to be in the water.
Besides Widmer, deputies say they also recovered the body of 33-year-old Amy Santus on Thursday.
Authorities said they have possession of the boat, but officers have not been able to go over it with a fine toothed comb to see if there's any damage to the hull.
It's not yet known how the others in the boat were related to Widmer, but authorities say Widmer and the other female they found Thursday were wearing life jackets.
"All of us definitely loved being around and playing with her," Aaron said. "It's definitely going to be different not having her on the team this year."
The search for the other two occupants on the boat was called off around 7 p.m.
The Coast Guard said due to the water being too cold, the mission is now for recovery and not search and rescue.
Authorities resumed the search Friday morning.
Family members continue to wait for answers. Officials say not knowing is the hardest part of the search for them.
Copyright 2014WIS. All rights reserved. WTOL contributed to this report.
Pelion teen visiting family in Ohio dies in boating accidentMore>>
They were born just two weeks apart. A 10-week-old baby and 8-week-old pit bull have a fascinating relationship. They absolutely adore each other! Louisiana native Brandi Hodges, 25, has posted photosMore >
A 10-week-old baby and 8-week-old Pitbull have a fascinating relationship. They absolutely adore each other!More >
Monday, July 28 2014 2:08 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:08:17 GMT
NWS: Macroburst hit north Phoenix with 100 mph winds
A macroburst with winds in excess of 100 mph hit north Phoenix Saturday night, snapping power poles, toppling trees and cutting power to 33,000 utility customers, the National Weather Service said.More >
Intense macrobursts can cause tornado-force damage of up to F3 intensity, the National Weather Service said after it confirmed the event. The Paradise Valley Hospital sustained rooftop damage.More >
Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:27 GMT
Authorities now say 14 people - including a 15-year-old - have been struck by lightning during rare summer thunderstorms that have swept through Southern California, injuring two critically.More >
A 20-year-old man died Sunday after lightning struck or rattled 13 people at a popular Los Angeles beach and a golfer on Catalina Island during summer thunderstorms that swept through Southern California, authorities said.More >