WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- A teenager who fell while hiking at Hanging Rock State Park in February has died.
The family of 17-year-old Jason Messer made the announcement on their Facebook page 'Pray for Jason Messer' .
Messer had been at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem since the accident on February 18.
Authorities say he fell more than 40 feet!
It took emergency crews more than two hours to reach him and airlift him from the mountain.
Messer was a student at McMichael High School and his family is from Stokesdale.
Rockingham County Schools released this statement after learning of Messer's death:
It is with a sad heart that we confirm that one of our McMichael High students, Jason Messer, 17 (11th grade), passed away on March 17 at Wake Forest University Baptist hospital after a tragic hiking accident at Hanging Rock on February 18. He was a varsity football player at McMichael High. The school has reached out and been in contact with his family since his accident and passing. Rockingham County Schools will provide additional psychologists and counselors on campus Monday morning and we will have crisis supports available as long as they need them. Please keep the Messer and McMichael High families in your thoughts.
The support page for Jason Messer on Facebook has generated an outpouring of prayers, thoughts and donations for the family.
Community members are posting messages on social media to remind the Messer family that even though Jason is gone -- he will never be forgotten.
The Messer family's church community at Twin City Bible Church in Winston-Salem says they're praying for them.
Pastor Danny Gumprecht is one of the youth pastors at the Twin City Bible Church.
He says the whole congregation is mourning with the Messer family.
"We love him a lot and we're going to miss him a lot," said Gumprecht. "Jason was a critical part of our student ministry. All of our students loved him greatly. He had a unique and fun personality. We all have wonderful memories of him that we will cherish."
Gumprecht says the Messer family and the community are leaning on their faith to get through this difficult time.
"I know many have looked up to him and have all been touched and impacted by him, certainly in his life, and especially through this accident and his death," said Gumprecht.
Messer was a lineman on the football team at McMichael High School in Rockingham County.
The school will have psychologists and counselors on campus Monday to assist any students who are grieving.
The school will hold a moment of silence on Monday morning in memory of Jason.