Flags will fly at half-staff Saturday to mark the funeral of Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Aaron Beesley, who fell to his death last week while on a rescue operation.
"[First lady] Jeanette and I extend our thoughts and prayers to Aaron's family, friends, and fellow service members at this time of grief," said Gov. Gary Herbert, who ordered the lowering of the flags. "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."
Beesley, 34, was on a helicopter rescue mission on Mount Olympus last week, plucking a pair of stranded hikers off the mountain. But after shuttling the second hiker to the base of the mountain, the chopper pilot returned to find Beesley had fallen some 60 feet to his death.
Beesley, a married father of three sons, was also a member of the Corrine Fire Department.
A funeral service for Beesley is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Northridge High in Layton. A memorial fund has been set up in his name at America First Credit Union.
"Aaron's dedication and bravery as a member of the Utah Highway Patrol, serving as a tactical flight officer, is significantly appreciated," Herbert said. "May his loved ones find comfort, strength and peace in their memories of Aaron."