KSU Stark student dies in accident


Rachel Schmidt

Kianna Bugglin

MASSILLON— Rachel Schmidt defined herself on Instagram as an “enthusiast of life, laughter, love, health, exercise, sushi, smiles and doing new things.” She wanted to be a social worker.

Sunday afternoon, Schmidt decided to take a walk through a local park. This was one of her favorite pastimes, family and friends said. 

Schmidt, 21, was struck by a falling tree while walking through South Sippo Park in Massillon on Sunday afternoon around 4:20 p.m. Paramedics found Schmidt still breathing and transferred her to Affinity Medical Center, where she died shortly after, according to an article in The Independent. 

Stark County Coroner P.S. Murthy said that Schmidt “sustained massive blunt impact injuries to her head, trunk and extremities.”

According to reports from The National Weather Service, the wind speeds at 4 p.m. ranged from 20-22 mph with wind gusts at speeds of 31-35 mph.

Schmidt, a third-year communication major at the Stark campus, was working at an internship at Stark County Mental Health Association. 

Lisa Waite, associate lecturer of Communication Studies, was directing and managing Schmidt’s internship field experience. She said Schmidt always displayed passion and enthusiasm.  

“I remember in a recent conversation with her that she said from the time she was seven years old she considered herself a social butterfly and that she drew her energy from others,” Waite said. “She knew from early on that she would do really well as a communications major.”

Jacoby Schmidt, Rachel’s brother, said that she was a great woman all around. 

“She had a huge heart and was very generous,” Jacoby said. “She liked to help other people, she was open-hearted for everybody and very accepting of anyone.”

Rachel worked at Max and Erma’s as a waitress. Manager Zack Barton said Schmidt was always cheerful and that her attitude had a positive effect on others.

“She will be greatly missed. Memories of her spirit and passion will remain with me,” Waite said. “I will reflect on Rachel with the dignity and grace she so richly deserves.”

A celebration of Schmidt’s life will take place at Paquelet & Arnold-Lynch Funeral Home on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 at noon. For more information, call the funeral home at (330) 833-4839.

Contact Kianna Bugglin at [email protected].