Michelle Casey, a 21-year-old student at Oregon State University, tragically fell to her death last weekend. According to the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office, Casey and her boyfriend were taking pictures at a scenic viewing spot near the coast when she slipped and fell more than 100 feet off of the Neahkahnie Mountain location.
When Casey was found, she was still breathing but unconscious. She landed in a tree which saved her from falling into the ocean. The rescue took more than two hours before she was transported by helicopter to the local hospital.
Casey later succumbed to her injuries.
“Michelle always brought people together with her bubbly personality and loving, giving heart,” her family said in a statement via CNN affiliate KOIN. “She loved being outdoors and was at the beach—her favorite place—on Sunday. Michelle Casey was born in joy on Christmas Eve, 1997. From that moment, she was a gift to her family.”
As an organ donor, Casey saved two lives following her passing.
“Always active, she held a second-degree black belt in Tae kwon do, played volleyball and beach volleyball, and loved to work out,” her family added. “She loved singing in choir and her Starbucks customers as a barista in both Portland and Corvallis. As a sophomore at OSU, she was working toward a degree in kinesiology because she wanted to help people. Michelle had chosen to be an organ donor, a decision that saved two lives.”
The university will be providing counseling services for fellow students following her death.
Oregon State Vice President of University Relations and Marketing Steve Clark added: “As a university community, we mourn at the loss of a community member — and certainly one so young.”
Our deepest condolences go out to Casey’s family and friends and all of those impacted by the tragedy during this incredibly difficult and tragic time.