Virginia State Police officials say two bodies were found inside a car in the Willis River in Cumberland on Wednesday after a single-vehicle crash.
Family members said the two victims -- Michaela and Tyauna Woodson -- were sisters.
"Cumberland County Public Schools extends condolences to the family of Michaela and Tyauna Woodson," the school system said in a press release. "These two beautiful young ladies were a big part of the Cumberland County Public Schools family as they excelled in academics and participated in extracurricular activities such as softball and cheerleading. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family."
The incident was first reported at 9:09 a.m. on Bonbrook Road. Police say the car ran off the road and into Willis River. It took first responders until 2 p.m. to find the vehicle due to high water from recent rain.
On Wednesday evening, family and friends gathered at the site of the crash. Tara Rice, whose son went to school with the girls, left a candle burning in their honor - writing their nicknames, Chunk and Mick, on the candle.
"Absolutely beautiful, in and out," said Rice, who remembers the girls from working as a substitute teacher in Cumberland County Public Schools.
Family says the girls were on the way to school at the time of the accident. On Wednesday, Rice says their loss was greatly felt as more people learned of the accident.
"All those little babies at school today were all tore up," said Rice. "And I don't know if there are going to be any in school tomorrow."
School officials said grief counselors will be at school for the remainder of the week.
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