SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah Highway Patrol trooper fell to his death in a search-and-rescue mission near Salt Lake City over the weekend.
Sheriff Jim Winder of the Unified Police said Aaron Beesley fell from a 90-foot cliff Saturday during the rescue of two stranded teenage hikers on Mount Olympus. No one saw the fall that killed the 13-year Patrol veteran.
Winder said a rescue helicopter located the hikers and carried them to safety, while the 34-year-old Beesley was left behind on the ground.
The helicopter returned but was unable to locate the trooper.
Winder told reporters at a news conference late Saturday night that searchers found him a short while later at the bottom of the cliff.
Officials said Beesley apparently was trying to retrieve his backpack when he lost his footing and plunged to his death.
Winder said the married father of three children ‘‘died in the line of duty while engaged in a heroic effort.’’