Senate honors trooper who died during search rescue operation

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30 2013 12:30 p.m. MST

Family members stand in the House of Representatives as Utah Highway Patrol trooper Aaron Beesley, who died after falling from a cliff during a search and rescue effort, is honored at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. At center are Beesley's wife, Kristie, and two of his sons, Preston and Derek.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Senate paused Wednesday to honor a Utah Highway Patrol trooper who fell to his death during a search and rescue mission on Mount Olympus in June.

Trooper Aaron Beesley, a 13-year UHP officer who frequently participated in search and rescue activities, fell from a 90-foot cliff during the rescue of two stranded teenagers.

Beesley apparently was trying to retrieve his backpack when he lost his footing and plunged to his death.

Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, who also takes part in search and rescue efforts in Utah County, said he had worked with Beesley a number of times over the years.

"In fact, the last time I saw him was two weeks before his death," he said.

Valentine said his sacrifice should serve as a reminder of the sacrifices of all officers and public safety officials who serve and protect Utahns. 

Marjorie Cortez

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