SALT LAKE CITY -- Aaron Beesley, a 13-year veteran of the Utah Highway Patrol from Box Elder County, who died while assisting in the rescue of two hikers stranded on Mount Olympus last year, will be one of 13 Utahns honored next month by the Salt Lake Red Cross.
The group will be named Utah Red Cross Community Heroes for acts of exceptional courage, compassion and service. They will be honored at an award luncheon on March 13 at the Little America Hotel from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Beesley, 34, of Bear River City, died while participating in a helicopter rescue mission to find a pair of hikers on Mount Olympus, east of Salt Lake City. Beesley spotted the hikers and began his preparation to deploy from the helicopter to assist them, according to a statement from the UHP.
He tossed his medical bag outside of the helicopter but it rolled further than expected down the hill. After the hikers were loaded in the helicopter, Beesley went to retrieve the bag and apparently lost his footing and fell about 90 feet to his death.
Beesley worked for UHP for 13 years with assignments as a field trooper in Davis, Weber and Box Elder counties. While assigned to those counties, Beesley also worked for the UHP Technology Section, providing computer-related support.
Red Cross Heroes from the Ogden, Provo, and St. George areas will also be honored during a series of events in their communities across the state throughout March and early April. Names of Red Cross Heroes Awards winners from these communities will be released later this month.
2013 Greater Salt Lake Area Chapter Red Cross Heroes
Lifetime Achievement Award
Brad Wiggins, Ronald Fife and Kristen Quinn have worked together for nearly 20 years to help children recover from traumatic burn injuries.
First Responder Award (posthumous)
Aaron Beesley, a 13-year veteran of the Utah Highway Patrol, lost his life while assisting in the rescue of two hikers stranded on Mount Olympus.
Good Samaritan Award
Double amputee Samoana (Sam) Matagi creates instructional videos to help other amputees learn to use prosthetic devices.
Good Samaritan Award:
Off-duty first responder Captain Brandon Moore risked his personal safety to assist a critically injured automobile accident victim.
Gail Williamson founded an inclusion-model school where children with disabilities and children without disabilities help each other learn.
Community Preparedness Award
Judy Watanabe played a key role in planning and executing the 2012 Great Utah Shake Out.
Youth Good Samaritan Award
Tanner Maxfield donated proceeds from the sale of his prize-winning steer to pay for the funeral expenses of the mother of a three-year old child who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Chris and Susan McCandless organize and lead assistance efforts to benefit the impoverished citizens of Piedras Negras, Mexico.
Community Service Award
During last summer's wildfires, Lt. Carrie Hecht went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that dozens of evacuated animals were safe and well cared for.
Personal Preparedness Award
Travis Thorson utilized his preparedness skills to help save a man who was seriously injured during an explosion.