What was supposedly a relaxing weekend for a young couple turned into a tragedy after an unforeseen accident.
A 21-year-old student from Oregon State University died after police reported that she fell 100 feet while trying to take a picture at a famous mountain lookout on the morning of May 19, 2019.
Michelle Casey was at Neahkahnie Mountain, taking pictures with her boyfriend when she lost her balance, slipped, and fell off the steep edge. Around 10:16 a.m. the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call, reporting someone had slipped from a viewing area. Her boyfriend then reported that instead of falling into the Pacific Ocean, Casey landed in a tree.
Deputies, when they arrived on the scene, reported that Casey “landed in a tree which prevented her from continuing into the ocean.” It was also reported that while Casey was unconscious when the rescue teams retrieved her, she was breathing. The Cannon Beach Rope Rescue team then arrived at the scene at 10:51 a.m. However, it took more than an hour for the officials to free Casey.
Lt. Gordon McGraw also told sources that Casey’s drop was near “vertical” which complicated the rescue’s efforts.
After Casey was successfully freed, she was then airlifted to Portland’s Emanuel Hospital. Unfortunately, Casey died that night in the hospital.
Lt. McGraw and Casey’s family also reported that she had “chosen to be an organ donor” and that her organs have already saved two lives.
Casey recently completed her second year of kinesiology at Oregon State University. Her family spoke fondly, describing her as a “gift” who was born on Christmas Eve, 1997. She had a “bubbly personality” and was a fan of the outdoors.
Casey’s story reminds everyone to be safe when outdoors and to always be cautious, especially when taking photos in high areas.