Victim of hiking accident remembered as a remarkable person

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Searchers this morning recovered the body of a 19-year-old Herriman woman who died in a hiking accident in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

It's a devastating blow to friends and family who say she was a remarkable woman who overcame some tough obstacles in life.

According to her former principal, Christina Traylor was the daughter of a paranoid schizophrenic, and she at times lived in homeless shelters and motels with her mother and siblings. Despite all of that, she kept a 3.9 GPA and earned a scholarship to college.

The former Jordan High School student was home from college for the summer when she went out hiking yesterday with friends. They were hiking near the Moss Ledge trail head when Christina, who was behind the group, fell on the steep, rocky terrain.

Dr. Martin Orr, of Creekside Animal Hospital, said, "She had a spark in her eyes all the time."

Victim of hiking accident remembered as a remarkable person

Orr says part of that spark came from working with animals, something she loved so much that she decided to dedicate her life to it.

"She was an amazing person. She was very enthused and very energetic; really excited about working with animals. She was very, very intelligent," Orr said.

That intelligence won her a scholarship to Colorado State University, where she was hoping to become a veterinarian.

Jordan High's principal helped make sure Christina got a scholarship when he wrote this about her in his nomination letter: "Christina's home life has been difficult at best .... In her short life, Christina and her siblings lived in several states .... When they weren't in foster care, the children spent nights in homeless shelters and motels.... Although Christina has attended more than a dozen schools and experienced more than most of us can possibly imagine, she has never failed to impress her teachers."

Her friends and former co-workers say she never failed to impress them. Orr said, "She was a very fun employee to have around. She was a sweet young woman, and we're going to miss her."

Authorities say Christina fell somewhere between 80 to 100 feet. She was hiking on what they call a fifth-class terrain where safety equipment was needed, and, unfortunately, she wasn't using safety equipment.

A donation fund has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses. You can donate at any Zions Bank branch under the "Christina Traylor" donation fund.


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Lori Prichard


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