An Oregon State University student died Sunday, May 19, after falling approximately 100 feet while taking photographs at a scenic coastal viewpoint along Highway 101, according to the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim has been identified by Oregon State officials as 21-year-old Michelle Casey. She was seriously injured when she slipped and fell while taking pictures at Neahkahnie Mountain, according to CNN affiliate KPTV.
Casey’s boyfriend told deputies that she landed in a tree, which prevented her from falling into the Pacific Ocean, the sheriff’s office said in a press release on Monday.
“Assistance was requested from Cannon Beach for a Rope Rescue and they dispatched a High Angle Rescue Team who arrived at approximately 10:51 a.m.,” the release said.
First responders told KPTV that the extrication and rescue were difficult, and it took the rope team two hours to reach her. Casey was flown to a Portland hospital, where she died from injuries sustained in the fall, according to KPTV.
In a statement to CNN affiliate KOIN, Casey’s family said she had chosen to be an organ donor, a decision that they said saved two lives.
OSU student Michelle Casey who died after a tragic fall at the coast Sunday was an organ donor. Her family tells me that decision has saved 2 lives: https://t.co/joYeZgQXUp #KOIN6news pic.twitter.com/XthpEivY82
— Amy Frazier (@amyfKOIN) May 22, 2019
“Michelle always brought people together with her bubbly personality and loving, giving heart,” her family said. “She loved being outdoors and was at the beach—her favorite place—on Sunday. ”
“She has the most giving, loving heart of anyone I know”
A Happy Valley mother shared precious photos of her 21-year-old daughter, Michelle Casey.
— Kandra Kent (@KandraKPTV) May 21, 2019
Casey was a junior at Oregon State’s main campus in Corvallis. She was majoring in kinesiology, according to Oregon State Vice President of University Relations and Marketing Steve Clark.
“As a university community, we mourn at the loss of a community member—and certainly one so young,” Clark told CNN in an email.
The university is offering supporting and counseling services to students, faculty and staff, and has reached out to members of Casey’s family, Clark says.
“Michelle Casey was born in joy on Christmas Eve, 1997,” her family noted in a statement. “From that moment, she was a gift to her family.”
Selfie Deaths Reported Across the World
From fall 2011 to fall 2017, 259 people died while taking selfies, according to researchers from India. A selfie is defined as a photograph that a person takes of himself or herself or a group while using a smartphone or another device.
The study looked at selfie deaths reported across the world.
The mean age of the victims was 22.9 years old with about half the total selfie deaths occurring among the 20 to 29-year-old age group. Another 36 percent of the deaths occurred in the 10 to 19-year-old age group.
“Drowning, transport, and fall form the topmost reasons for deaths caused by selfies. We also classified reasons for deaths due to selfie as risky behavior or non-risky behavior. Risky behavior caused more deaths and incidents due to selfies than non-risky behavior. The number of deaths in females is less due to risky behavior than non-risky behavior while it is approximately three times in males,” the researchers wrote in a summary of results.
“About three-fourth of selfie deaths occurred in males. A project called selfiecity has established that women take more selfies as compared to men. But because men are more likely to take risk to click selfie as compared to women, it justifies the higher number of deaths and incidents for men.”