Fallen trooper spent his life serving others, family says

Published: Sunday, July 1 2012 5:00 p.m. MDT

It took crews another 45 minutes to reach the Beesley. The trooper was pronounced dead at 8:20 p.m., Winder said.

"It is with a great deal of sorrow that we are here tonight to announce this passing," the sheriff said during a late-night news conference Saturday in Murray. "This trooper died in the line of duty while engaged in a heroic effort, the rescue of two individuals."

Winder said Beesley had assisted Salt Lake County and other agencies in several rescues.

"He has given his all in an act of devotion to our community," he said.

Beesley worked for the Department of Public Safety for 13 years, serving in Davis, Weber and Box Elder counties, said one of his colleagues, Lt. Steve Winward. He also served as assistant fire chief in Corinne, Box Elder County.

Beesley's most recent assignment was providing technical support for the data collection of accident reports, in addition to working many shifts as a technical flight officer, Windward said.

"It's a big loss for our department," he said. "It's been many years since we lost a trooper in this department. A lot of officers are taking this very hard."

Colleagues described Beesley as a decorated officer who had earned several medals, including a Lifesaving Medal of Excellence.

Beesley also was very tech-savvy, Winward said, and had designed iPhone and Android phone applications to assist helicopter pilots. He also designed an app to help with standardized field sobriety tests.

"He was one of our finest," Winward said.

Beesley had a knack for technology from a young age, said his mother, Laretta Beesley, of Clinton. As a boy, Aaron would pull electronics thrown away by neighbors from garbage cans and fix them.

"He could just touch something, and it would work," she said.

Aaron's father, Robert Beesley, shared a story about the time he was called into the office as a seventh-grader at Sunset Junior High — to fix the school's computers.

"He was a wizard (with technology)," he said. "He knew how to make things work."

Laretta Beesley proudly spoke with reporters about her son, calling him "brilliant young man" whose death is a loss to the world.

"I'm proud of the fact he was always willing to help someone else," she said. "He served others."

E-mail: jpage@desnews.com

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