SALT LAKE CITY - Gov. Gary R. Herbert ordered the lowering of the Flag of the United States of America and the Flag of the State of Utah on the day of Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Aaron Beesley’s funeral, Saturday, July 7. The Governor issued the following statement:
I am deeply grieved to hear of Trooper Aaron Beesley’s tragic passing. Aaron’s dedication and bravery as a member of the Utah Highway Patrol, serving as a tactical flight officer, is significantly appreciated.
Our public safety, medical and fire helicopter flight officers are among the best in the nation. They navigate the treacherous winds and high altitudes of Utah’s diverse mountain country, search our deepest canyons and suppress our massive wildfires. Their contribution to emergency response requires the most technical skill – and is often the most dangerous.
I have authorized the lowering of the Flag of the United States of America and the Flag of the State of Utah on Saturday, July 7, 2012, in honor and memory of Trooper Beesley. The flags shall be flown at half-staff on all state facilities from sunrise to sunset only on Saturday, July 7, 2012.
Jeanette and I extend our thoughts and prayers to Aaron’s family, friends, and fellow service-members at this time of grief. To all who knew and loved Aaron: we mourn with you. In every manner of his life, Aaron demonstrated the principles of fortitude and selflessness that make me proud to be a Utahn.
May his loved ones find comfort, strength, and peace in their memories of Aaron. We send our deepest sympathies as well as our greatest appreciation to those who supported and loved a man of such unfailing character.
From the Official Down Memorial Page:
Trooper Aaron Beesley died after falling from a cliff while performing a search and rescue mission in Salt Lake County.
Trooper Beesley, a tactical flight officer for the agency, had been assisting in the search for two missing teenage hikers along the Mount Olympus Trail. The helicopter located the two and Trooper Beesley was placed on the ground to assist them. As the the two were airlifted to safety Trooper Beesley was left at the scene.
When the helicopter returned to retrieve Trooper Beesley he could not be located. He was located at the bottom of a 90-foot cliff a short time later. Ground based rescue crews reached his location approximately 45 minutes later. It is believed he was attempting to retrieve a backpack when he fell from the trail.
Trooper Beesley had served with the Utah Highway Patrol for 13 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
According to the UHP Facebook page, Beesley was also “a decorated trooper receiving awards for life saving and Medal of Excellence among other awards. He was a great asset for the Department and will surly be missed.”
In another Facebook post made in honor of the late trooper, the line “Trooper Aaron Beesley– “10-42″ was placed above a photo.. “10-42″ is the dispatch call sign for “Ending tour of duty.”
Copyright 2012 St. George News.