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Student Suffers Fatal Fall at Her 'Favorite Place'

Oregon's Michelle Casey saves 2 as organ donor
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2019 9:08 AM CDT
Rescuers attempt to reach Oregon State student Michelle Casey, following a fall at Neahkahnie Mountain on Sunday.   (Nehalem Bay Fire and Rescue)

(Newser) – Oregon State University student Michelle Casey died while taking pictures—not selfies, her parents emphasize—Sunday at a Neahkahnie Mountain viewpoint above Neahkahnie Beach. Casey, who'd hiked to the northern Oregon lookout with her boyfriend, was taking photos when she fell, her fall broken by a tree some 100 feet down, according to the Nehalem Bay Fire and Rescue. "Her fall was the result of a slip as she moved from one rock to another. She was not taking a 'selfie,'" her parents tell ABC News via email. They say the beach was Casey's "favorite place in the world"—"she grew up spending time there and enjoyed taking pictures of the surf and beach."

The 21-year-old was unconscious but breathing when rescuers reached her two hours later, per CNN. She was then flown by helicopter to Portland's Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Her parents take solace in the fact that she saved two lives as a registered organ donor. It was a "choice that should not surprise anyone who knew her," they say, describing Casey as "a gift" from the moment of her 1997 birth on Christmas Eve. "She never excluded anyone, instead, she pulled everyone in, particularly those who felt isolated, shy, or alone. She couldn't bear the thought of anyone being left out." Casey, a Starbucks barista, was studying kinesiology "because she wanted to help people," her parents add, per People. (Read more cliff fall stories.)

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