17-year-old Julia Hassan of Lowell, Massachusetts, is being remembered as a kind, upbeat, good-hearted person after a freak accident in New Hampshire took her life Tuesday.
Investigators say Hassan was hiking with friends about four miles from Lincoln Woods when she slipped and fell into Franconia Falls. Rescuers found her body four hours later.
"I think people should know that God really did get an angel when she went back up to heaven yesterday and she was the kindest, most sweetest soul in the world," said the mother of one of Hassan's friends, Anita Cielakie.
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Another family friend Finbar Lutter said, "I went to school with her, she was talented, she was a musician, she had all kinds of things, she had a bright future ahead of her."
Hassan had just graduated from Lowell High School where friends say she was an accomplished musician, playing both flute and piccolo. She was headed to college at Marywood University in Pennsylvania in less than two weeks to major in music therapy.
"She had her whole life planned out, that's what she was going to do and so I'm hoping she's in heaven doing that there, maybe she's leading the marching band in heaven," Cielakie said.
Loved ones say they take solace in knowing she's with her father now, who passed away less than three years ago.
"It's hard to go through something like that, now I can't imagine what the Hassan family is going through," said another friend, Yadiel Diaz.
"Julia was a beloved member of the Lowell High School community and offered the world great promise. She will be greatly missed,” added Lowell Assistant Superintendent Jeannie Durkin.
Counselors will be available at Lowell High School Thursday for anyone who needs support during this difficult time.