Friends of Hannah Sarver gathered Sept. 2 at the Train Depot at Hanby Park after a fire took the 17-year-old's life the previous day.

Those who knew her said they came to light candles, play music and honor her in a way she would appreciate.

"We'll miss you our sweet angel" and "fly high" were written in purple chalk on the brick shelter and around a group of candles.

Samantha Streetner, a friend of Sarver's for about five years, said she was a beautiful person inside and out.

"Everyone loved her," Streetner said. "No matter how bad your day was going, you'd see her and hear her laugh and it made it better."

Streetner said they would meet at the park.

"She was one of the most beautiful people I've met," she said. "She loved animals. When I would see her on social media, she was with a pony or chicken or different animals."

Streetner said she colored her hair purple in honor of her friend, because she knew she would think that was cool.

"Her favorite color was purple," Streetner said.

Hailey Owens, an Otterbein University student, said she had known Sarver for about five years.

"I knew her personally, then from school," she said. "She went through a lot. She was always happy, loving and supportive toward people."

Leia Bricker, a junior at Westerville South High School, said she met Sarver at the Train Depot shelter in middle school.

"We had classes together last year," she said. "She loved everyone. She had a beautiful soul and it shined out with everyone."

Bricker said Sarver's friends are hoping to dedicate a brick paver in her memory at the depot.

Bricker said Sarver was the sweetest person she ever met.

"She always knew how to cheer people up," she added. "We've all had issues. We leaned on each other. She was there for us and we were there for her."

Bricker said Sarver was going to the Delaware Career Center for the equine science program.

Steven ODonnell, a 2017 South graduate, said he sat with Sarver in two classes last year.

"She always put a smile on my face every time I saw her," he said. "She was one of the best people I knew. She was so free."

In a message to Westerville South families, principal Mike Starner said the school is deeply saddened by Sarver's loss and extends sincerest condolences to her family, friends and loved ones.

He said the school was providing access to grief counselors for those who needed additional support to process the loss.

"Please keep Hannah's family and the entire Wildcat community in your thoughts and prayers as they work through this difficult time," Starner said.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla