SOMERSET, Wis. (WCCO) — A Wisconsin high school is mourning the loss of a student who died after a cliff fall along the North Shore.
Investigators say a 14-year-old girl, confirmed by her family as Bailey Belisle, accidentally fell at Palisade Head near Silver Bay. A group of bystanders rappelled down the cliff to help her. She later died after being airlifted to a hospital.
Belisle was a freshman at Somerset High School and a member of the volleyball team. Grief counselors were on hand Monday for students and staff.
“The most common theme that we heard today specifically was just how funny she was, always telling jokes, extremely musical and artistic,” said Principal Shannon Donnelly. “I remember actually about a week ago she was actually skipping down the hallway singing and she turns the corner and she’s got a smile that really just kind of lights up a room. She was special.”
Tuesday’s home volleyball game was cancelled to let the team grieve. Principal Donnelly said they’re planning a way to honor Belisle at next week’s home game.
“Bailey’s been with (the district) since the beginning of her educational career. You could tell early on in the day today that we had many students that were hit very, very hard,” Donnelly said.
Belisle’s parents, Corey and Rachel, released a statement saying:
“Our daughter Bailey was the light of our lives. She has two older brothers Joe (19) and James (16) that she was always trying to keep up with. She had a beautiful voice and singing brought her and others great joy! She was also a talented artist with her sketchpad, photos, painting, and always up for a good dance. Bailey was the best of all of us, quick to diffuse a situation and lighten it up with humor. She was hilarious, and beautiful, and had just the right thing to say as she would wrap you into a tight hug that never lasted long enough. She was smart and studies came easily to her allowing her to help friends when it was needed. She loved playing basketball, volleyball, and soccer and, just like any 14 year old girl, running with her friends. She also took special time to take pics with her lab “Butters” and her kitties “Shadow” and “Whiskers. Unfortunately she was taken from us far too early while hiking with friends on vacation. It was not something anyone would have expected, but we’ve been assured she left us for heaven quickly which gives us comfort. She leaves behind so many that are grieving today that we wanted to take the time to tell you a bit about her. She was simply fantastic and is going to be missed by so many. Our hearts are broken, but we will work to remember her in our small Somerset community and elsewhere as she has touched so many lives. We would also like to mention that we know many hearts today are hurting as she was friends with anyone who crossed her path. We will continue to love her constantly until we meet again, Mom, Dad, Joe, and James.
For donations on medical and funeral costs – Westconsin Credit Union, New Richmond WI brand, Corey and Rachel Belisle