Pelion teen visiting family in Ohio dies in Lake Erie accident - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Pelion teen visiting family in Ohio dies in boating accident

Updated:
Paige Widmer (Source: Facebook) Paige Widmer (Source: Facebook)
A sign outside a Pelion grocery store. (Source: Jack Kuenzie) A sign outside a Pelion grocery store. (Source: Jack Kuenzie)
(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
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.

Follow WIS:    

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved. WTOL contributed to this report.

  • Most ReadMost ReadMore>>

  • Funeral home offers drive-thru visitation

    Funeral home offers drive-thru visitation

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:01 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:01:25 GMT
    Owners of a local funeral home decided to make saying your final goodbyes a little more convenient.More >>
    Owners of a local funeral home decided to make saying your final goodbyes a little more convenient.More >>
  • Columbus Police searching for motor vehicle theft suspects

    Columbus Police searching for motor vehicle theft suspects

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:53 AM EDT2014-09-15 14:53:57 GMT
    Columbus Police are requesting the public's assistance identifying three suspects responsible for two unrelated motor vehicle thefts.More >>
    Columbus Police are requesting the public's assistance identifying three suspects responsible for two unrelated motor vehicle thefts.More >>
  • CPD searching for robbery suspect

    CPD searching for robbery suspect

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:17 AM EDT2014-09-16 10:17:08 GMT
    Columbus police need your help identifying suspects involved in a robbery. The attached pictures were taken from surveillance footage from the M&N package store on Cusseta Road.       More >>
    Columbus police need your help identifying suspects involved in a robbery. The attached pictures were taken from surveillance footage from the M&N package store on Cusseta Road.       More >>
Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.