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Oregon college student taking pictures dies after falling off side of mountain

Her fall was broken by a tree, which prevented her from falling into the ocean below, and she later succumbed to her serious injuries.

An Oregon college student died after a 100-foot fall off the side of a mountain while taking pictures over a barrier, according to sheriff's deputies.

Oregon State University student Michelle Casey, 21, was at a viewpoint area of Neahkahnie Mountain on Highway 101 with her boyfriend Sunday when she slipped and fell while taking pictures over a retaining wall, according to a statement from the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office.

Her 100-foot fall was broken by a tree, which prevented her from falling into the ocean below, the statement said.

Casey suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where she later died.

Her family said in a statement that Casey "loved being outdoors and was at the beach — her favorite place — on Sunday." They said she was "always active" and had a second-degree black belt in taekwondo, played volleyball and loved to work out.

Casey was an organ donor, and her organs were donated to two people, the family said.

"Michelle always brought people together with her bubbly personality and loving, giving heart," the statement said. She was a sophomore and pursuing a degree in kinesiology "because she wanted to help people."

An Oregon State University statement said, "as a university community, we mourn at the loss of a community member — and certainly one so young as Michelle."

At least three people have died from falls at the Grand Canyon this year. At least one of those people was trying to take photos. Last year, a couple fell about 800 feet to their deaths while apparently taking a selfie at Yosemite National Park in California.