Happy Valley resident dies after Manzanita cliff fall
On her Facebook page, 2016 Clackamas High School graduate Michelle Frances Casey described herself as "a bubbly, friendly and dorky person who loves to make people smile."
The 21-year-old junior at Oregon State University died May 19 at a hospital after falling at the Neahkahnie Mountain Viewpoint area just off Highway 101 near Manzanita. A friend told KOIN 6 News that the Happy Valley resident went to the coast whenever she got the chance and was taking pictures when she slipped and fell about 100 feet.
Emergency responders got a 911 call around 10:15 a.m. Sunday from her boyfriend who said she was taking photos over the retaining wall when she fell. A tree stopped her from falling into the ocean but she was badly hurt and then airlifted to a hospital for treatment.
Casey worked as a barista in Corvallis and Portland as she studied kinesiology at OSU. Her family issued a statement saying she was an organ donor, a decision that saved two lives.
Her friend, Tyson Zagelow, told KOIN 6 News she adored her family, sang in the choir and was the definition of love and compassion.
"I just want people to basically know that she's just the most loving person that I've probably ever known," he said. "(Casey was) the type of person that you could be driving down the road and she'll make you roll down the windows and you'll be blaring a song, screaming it out loud."
In a statement, the Casey family wrote,
"Michelle Casey was born in joy on Christmas Eve, 1997. From that moment, she was a gift to her family. She adored her family, cats and dogs. She loved being outdoors and was at the beach — her favorite place — on Sunday. Michelle always brought people together with her bubbly personality and loving, giving heart. Always active, she held a second-degree black belt in taekwondo, played volleyball and beach volleyball, and loved to work out."
The family thanked the emergency responders who rushed to help her, the doctors at Legacy Emanuel and the transplant team at Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank. Donations in her honor can be made to Born Again Pit Bull Rescue, the Cat Adoption Team, the Clackamas Dogs Foundation or the Heartland Humane Society in Corvallis.