BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah — A surgeon with Intermountain Healthcare died in a skiing accident Thursday at Solitude Mountain Resort, police said.
Andrew Gagnon, 38, was skiing alone in expert-only terrain when the accident happened. A witness told police they saw Gagnon fall off a steep cliff in the Ortovox Shute off Evergreen Peak.
According to the ski patrol, Gagnon, who was wearing a helmet, went over the cliff and fell about 100 feet, then tumbled another 500-600 feet down a steep slope into rocks and trees.
Rescuers arrived and transported Gagnon off the mountain while attempting lifesaving efforts, but he did not survive.
Intermountain Healthcare released a statement Friday mourning the loss of a colleague.
"Dr. Gagnon was a wonderful transplant surgeon, outdoor enthusiast, and lived for his family, patients, and fellow caregivers.
"Because of Dr. Gagnon’s surgical talents, he was instrumental in growing the Intermountain Healthcare Transplant Services program and in doing so saved hundreds of lives. Dr. Gagnon always said he loved living in Utah, loved what he was doing, and his patients often noted his kindness and compassion.
"The Intermountain Healthcare transplant family and entire transplant community in Utah will miss Dr. Gagnon and will honor his wonderful and lasting legacy."
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.