Remembering Hannah: Friends Gather, Share Memories

By KBJR News 1

September 20, 2012 Updated Sep 20, 2012 at 10:48 PM CDT

Eveleth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - An Iron Range community is mourning the loss of a 16-year-old girl, who died following a tragic car accident Wednesday.

Hannah E. Wilson of Virginia died after authorities say the car she was driving westbound across Highway 53 near Eveleth was struck broadside by another vehicle.

Hannah was a junior at Eveleth-Gilbert High School. Staff and students took time Thursday to grieve and remember the girl they say was kind to everyone.

"She was always so positive. She never said anything negative and she doesn't judge people," said Hannah's best friend, Jessica Morin.

Morin and many other of Hannah's friends gathered Thursday at the site of the accident along Highway 53. They found comfort in sharing memories of Hannah.

"She loved to have a good time. She always wanted to do something," said Morin.

"It was easy to be her friend. That's for sure," said Mack Pain.

Friends say Hannah's kind personality drew people to her. They say that many students at Eveleth-Gilbert were friends with Hannah.

"She would never turn you down if you wanted to talk about something," said Maija DePaulis.

Hannah had been a student at Eveleth–Gilbert High School for only a year. Principal Jan Mesich says that in that time she left a lasting impression.

"It was just so amazing for me to see [Thursday] how many lives she touched in such a very short period of time," Mesich said, "she was the kind of student who was friendly to everybody."

At the locker of the girl who never had a bad word to say about anybody, loving words filled every shelf. Students left messages and balloons for their fellow classmate. Mesich says that students gathered there Thursday for several hours.

At the site of the accident, friends have created a memorial for Hannah. A wooden cross bearing messages and flowers stands in her memory.

"She has a smile on her face and she's saying I love you all," said Morin.

The driver of the SUV involved in Hannah's crash sustained minor injuries. Hannah was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.