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