SALEM, Ohio - Students at Salem High School and people in the community are mourning the loss of a teen who made an impact in her short years here.
A teddy bear was tied around a post in front of the field where 17-year- old Brittany Gulu lost control of her car on Lisbon Road.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol says Gulu was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car.
The loss is overwhelming for all those who loved her. "I'm just waiting for her to come home and spend the night at my house every day of the week and drink pink lemonade and eat a bunch of chips. My other half is now in heaven and i can never get that back," said Katie Neiswonger, Brittany's best friend and sister.
The vibrant 17-year-old found a family at the Salem Community Theater taking part in several youth productions including "A Christmas Carol," "Alice in Wonderland," "Beauty and the Beast," and most recently a main stage production of MASH where she played a secretary.
"She just liked interacting with other actors and responding to directors and getting her character developed," said Gary Kekel, Managing Director of the Salem Community Theatre.
At Salem High School, counselors have been working with students on a steady basis to help them with their grief and loss.
Brittany's sociology teacher says the teen was quiet in class and well liked in all circles. "She had a lot of friends. We always kind of joked that she had maybe 4,000 contacts on her cell phone," said Rob Motz, Salem High School Sociology/Psychology teacher.
Principal Joe Shivers tells us Brittany had been a cheerleader, ran track, was a member of the band and choir, and had been involved in project support. "We have three county multiple handicapped units here and these kids put on dances, provide meals did those types of things. She was one of our leaders in that. She was capable of just incredible thoughtfulness ss. For a high school kid, very, very, very thoughtful. She touched a lot of lives. She is going to be missed," said Dr. Joe Shivers, principal at Salem High School.
Her youth pastor at Crossroads says the girl who made everyone feel special is home. "I have faith. God loves big and Brittany is with God. So I have faith," said Dianna McManus, Crossroads youth pastor.