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Officials plea for caution after another sightseer falls to death while taking photos

The accident involving a college student on the Oregon coast is the latest in a series of tragedies involving risky photo-taking efforts.
/ Source: TODAY

An Oregon college student fell to her death after climbing over a barrier to take pictures from a scenic cliff, the latest in a series of tragedies involving risky photo-taking efforts.

Michelle Casey, 21, and her boyfriend had stopped Sunday along the Oregon coastline to take pictures at a lookout point on Neahkahnie Mountain. Casey climbed over a retaining wall to get a better view and then slipped, the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office said.

She fell 100 feet before landing in a tree, authorities said.

Casey was still alive when a rescue team reached her about two hours later. She was airlifted to a Portland hospital, where she died.

An Oregon State University sophomore studying kinesiology, Casey was a second-degree black belt in taekwondo, played volleyball and loved to work out, her family said in a statement.

“Michelle always brought people together with her bubbly personality and loving, giving heart,” they said.

College student falls from cliff
Michelle Casey was working toward a degree in kinesiology "because she wanted to help people," her family said. TODAY

Casey’s death was the latest in a string of accidents involving risky behavior demonstrated while trying to snap a photo.

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

In March, a jaguar mauled a woman who hopped a barrier at an Arizona zoo to get a closer picture.

Officials are reporting a growing number of accidents and deaths involving people pushing the limits to get a picture.

One study reported that 259 people around the world have died while taking selfies.