Hundreds of people gathered at RHAM High School on Tuesday night to remember the life of Paige Houston, who was killed in a crash early in the morning.
"I don't want Paige's death to be in vain. I want to make something positive out of it," Michelle Houston, Paige's mother, said.
Houston's mother became overwhelmed, surrounded by family and friends, as they joined together for a vigil outside RHAM High School, where the 17-year-old would have attended classes as a senior this fall.
Students lit paper lanterns and held onto one another as they tried to heal.
"She was one of those people who lived life to the fullest. She was a great girl and she was friends with everyone," said Carolyn Reidy, a friend of Houston's.
State police said a newly-licensed teen driver had three teenage passenger with him, including Houston, when he lost control of the vehicle around 1 a.m. on Tuesday and crashed into a tree on West Street. Investigators said Houston was thrown from the vehicle and was the only one not wearing a seat belt.
As the hours passed, a makeshift memorial grew at the site of the crash. Those who knew and loved the vivacious teen brought flowers and other mementos.
"She was honestly like a sister to me, and she had such a vibrant personality. She was always laughing, always lighting up a room and she never met someone that she didn't make happy immediately," said Allie Aglieco, a friend of Houston's.
It's the love Houston exuded that those who knew her want remembered.
Her friends said Houston has two younger brothers and was set to be captain of the cheer squad. They say she lived a life full of remarkable possibility and they want the light she was for them to remain bright.
"All the light and happiness that she brought to people and not just remember the tragedy, remember her life and honor that," said Reidy.
"I want people to remember her and talk about her and keep her alive as much as they can and remember the story and remember her because she's not someone who should ever be forgotten," said Aglieco.
The principal of Rham High School said something will be planned to remember Paige during the coming school year.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing. State Police have not yet said if alcohol or speed played a role.