Family & friends remember Amanda Geissler after fatal plane crash

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THORP, Wis. (WEAU) -- Following a fatal plane crash on Sunday, Costa Rican authorities said United States Aviation officials and the maker of the plane will collaborate in the investigation into what caused the crash.

The crash killed all 12 people on board, including UW-Stout graduate and Thorp native Amanda Geissler.

Authorities are investigating whether strong winds or some sort of mechanical failure is responsible.

Amanda Geissler was a standout basketball player at Thorp High School, leading the Cardinals to the 2002 state tournament.

Later, she was captain at UW-Stout leading the Lady Blue Devils to three straight conference championships.

Amanda's family in Thorp and her extended family in Menomonie looked back at the positive impact she had on so many.

"She would have said this was the best year of her life. She found a job that she was passionate about, shared the same passions as her. She got to take kids and families on vacation and loved every second of it," said Amanda's sister Lindsey Geissler.

Amanda was working as a personal vacation travel guide for a California-based company called Backroads since last May, traveling the world and satisfying her sense of adventure. She's described as a free spirit, who was never afraid to fail in whatever path she took in life.

"No matter what odds are against you, you can achieve whatever you want. No matter how many people tell you are going to fail, you can succeed," said Amanda's dad Jeff Geissler.

Several of Amanda's former UW-Stout teammates and coach gathered Tuesday morning in Menomonie to remember a young woman who loved life. Geissler was the point guard and captain of three WIAC Champion Blue Devil teams from 2005 to 2007.

"Who's this little spit-fire coming in here and that's what she was. A spit-fire and an encourager, and the most positive person you will have ever met in your life," said former UW-Stout teammate Lindsey Olsen.

"I mean she taught all of us how to be winners and it didn't even need to be on the basketball court. She just did an iron man last year and we were all there to cheer her on. She ran a marathon at the Great Wall of China, she was so adventurous. She had one of the most amazing blogs you'll ever see. One of the things she had was a will, she didn't want to leave back things, or her desire or passion for adventure and to live," said another former teammate Erin Konsela.
Just like many of her teammates at Stout, Amanda and Lindsey were hand-picked from small towns that came together to create something special, and in the middle of it all was #2.

"And I honestly think that's what Amanda did every single day whether it was admiring the moon, or just admiring someone's smile, and in which she had the biggest smile, and I think in life, it's the little things in life that make a difference and that is her legacy," said former teammate Stephanie Kohn.

Amanda's sister Lindsey said losing her sister now is devastating for her family, that 33 years of life is too short, but her burning desire to live life to it's fullest will never be forgotten.

"This light that nobody else has, but we are going to carry that on for her and everyone that she knows is going to carry it with them and we will live for her," said Lindsey Geissler.

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