The community of Woodland is coming together after the loss of a popular high school student who was killed in a car crash on the day after Thanksgiving.
Samantha Effingham was a senior at Woodland High School. She was killed last Friday when police say the car she was in blew through a stop sign near Battleground.
The sign outside her school Sunday read "We love you Samantha."
"It's unreal to see this person you talk to every day go from being there to not being there," said Robert Wilson, one of Effingham's classmates.
Friends said she was well liked and friendly, as they head back to school from Thanksgiving break Monday without her.
"She was nice to almost everyone that was nice to her and she was kind of an inspiration to a lot of people as well," said Wilson.
The sign above the Dairy Queen where Effingham worked said "We will miss you." The manager said everyone who worked with her is feeling the loss.
"She was a happy girl, always very happy and polite," said manager Talisa Mullen. "She was a great person."
Inside the restaurant, co-workers placed a donation jar next to Effingham's picture. They're hoping to raise money to help her family.
"We are going to hopefully raise a lot of funds to help with her funeral and arraignments that her family needs to make," said Mullen.
Police said Effingham was a passenger in the car driven by 20-year-old Ryan Matison when he ran a stop sign and crashed into a pickup truck. Effingham died at the scene. Matison and the driver of the pickup truck were injured.
Matison posted a message on his Facebook page about Effingham on Saturday. Part of it read, "I dream of you and I will always have a spot for you in my heart, prayers and mind."
Minister Nathan Shank spent the day Sunday counseling members of his church youth group and helping them work through the grief.
"Go through the grief," he said. "I think too often we try to fix it and there is no fix for losing somebody that you care about."
Police said drugs and alcohol were not involved in the crash, but they said Matison was speeding when he blew through the stop sign.
No charges have been filed.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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