Utah Highway Patrol trooper falls to his death near Mount Olympus Trail
Laura Seitz, Deseret News
MURRAY — A 13-year veteran of the Utah Highway Patrol fell to his death from a cliff during a search and rescue operation Saturday, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said.
Aaron Beesley, 34, a Utah Highway Patrol tactical flight officer, was part of the crew conducting a search and rescue operation for two teenagers on the Mount Olympus Trail. The call came into United Police at 4:30 p.m. of stranded hikers on Mount Olympus.
The UHP helicopter was called in and was able to find the hikers and airlift them to safety. Beesley was left behind on the ground while the teens were airlifted.
When the helicopter returned, rescuers were unable to locate Trooper Beesley. He was later located at the bottom of a 90-foot cliff, unconscious on his back. It took 45 minutes for rescue crews on the ground to reach him, Winder said.
"It is with a great deal of sorrow that we are here tonight to announce this passing," Winder said in a press conference just before 11 p.m. Saturday. "This trooper died in the line of duty while engaged in a heroic effort, the rescue of two individuals."
No one witnessed the fall, but UPD officials said Beesley apparently was trying to retrieve his backpack, lost his footing and plunged to his death.
"He has given his all in an act of devotion," Winder said.
Trooper Steven Winward called Beesley's death "a big loss for our department."
"It has been many years since we have lost a trooper," Windward said. "A lot of our officers are taking it really hard."
Beesley was a resident of Box Elder County. He leaves behind a wife and three boys.
- Riverton sees 550-acre LDS Church property...
- About Utah: Selling bikes the new-fashioned way
- Should Utah have 'blended sentences' for teen...
- 2016 Sterling Scholar candidates
- Police ID man who barricaded himself in motor...
- Paradigm shift: Fewer Utah juvenile offenders...
- Teen in critical condition after slamming...
- Charges: Orem mom left 2 small kids alone...
- Supporters of Oregon occupier honor... 54
- Riverton sees 550-acre LDS Church... 34
- Feds say Orem man duped hundreds of... 28
- Meagan Grunwald won't get a new trial... 25
- Are you willing to take a pledge to... 21
- Paradigm shift: Fewer Utah juvenile... 18
- Woman killed by mixer at Sandy grocery... 16
- Video involving officer whose ear was... 15