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Family, friends remember WSU student who died this summer

Park warns visitors to exercise caution on hikes, near water

Yu%E2%80%99e+Qing+was+hiking+Mount+Rainier+alone+when+she+was+swept+away+attempting+to+cross+a+river.+
Yu’e Qing was hiking Mount Rainier alone when she was swept away attempting to cross a river.

Yu’e Qing was hiking Mount Rainier alone when she was swept away attempting to cross a river.

Courtesy of Feixiong Lou

Courtesy of Feixiong Lou

Yu’e Qing was hiking Mount Rainier alone when she was swept away attempting to cross a river.

HANNAH WELZBACKER, Evergreen reporter

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Feixiong Luo, a graduate student at WSU, remembers his childhood friend Yu’e Qing as a happy, outgoing and adventurous person.

Qing, a WSU graduate student studying horticulture, was swept away by fast-moving waters in Mount Rainier National Park on July 25, 2018.

Qing was supposed to hike in the park with a group, but plans changed and she ended up going alone, Luo said.

According to a press release from the National Park Service, park officials said Qing was swept away while attempting to cross the West Fork of the White River while hiking the Northern Loop Trail. Hikers watched the accident and tried to save Qing but were unsuccessful.

After an initial aerial search failed to locate Qing, a ground crew found her body Friday, July 27 with help from a helicopter, Luo said

Park warns visitors to exercise caution on hikes, near water

Qing, who was from the Hunan Province, had graduated from Lanzhou University of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in food science in 2017.

Richard Koenig, associate professor in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences, issued a statement on July 28 following the incident.

“This is a devastating loss for Yue’s family, and also for the friends and colleagues who came to know her at WSU,” he said. “She was a bright, energetic young woman.”

Qing had spent a semester at the Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center in Mount Vernon before transferring to the Pullman campus in January 2018.

At the time of the accident, she was spending the summer in Prosser, Washington, researching cherries at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center.

Luo said Mount Rainier is wilder than parks located in China. He warned international students to take caution in national parks in the U.S. and try to always hike in groups.

“Parks in the U.S. are not as domesticated and international students underestimate the risks,” he said.

The park statement also recommended that hikers exercise extreme caution whenever crossing a river and unfasten the belts on backpacks to make it easier to separate.

While helping Qing’s parents after they arrived in the U.S. following the accident, Luo said he realized international students are not informed about their U.S. insurance policy.

Her parents only received a small amount of life insurance that will not cover the larger sum they borrowed for her schooling, he said.

Xin Zhang, a biological systems graduate engineering student currently working in Prosser, met Qing on her first day and remembers her energetic personality.

“The first day we met her she was laughing very loudly and curious about everything,” she said. “She would ask questions and wanted to talk to everyone.”

Editor’s note: The spelling of Yu’e Qing’s first name has been written to include an apostrophe in accordance with her family’s wishes. Some other records of this individual do not include an apostrophe in its spelling.

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Family, friends remember WSU student who died this summer