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BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON — A Cottonwood Heights doctor was killed in a skiing accident at Solitude on Thursday.
Dr. Andrew Gagnon, 38, had been skiing with his wife before going off alone to "expert-only terrain" at Solitude Mountain Resort just before noon. Witnesses on a chair lift said they saw him go off a 100-foot cliff, then continue to tumble down a steep slope through rocks and trees for another 500 to 600 feet, according to the Unified Police Department.
Gagnon fell while skiing Ortovox Chute off Evergreen Peak and slid off a cliff. He was wearing a helmet, according to a statement from the ski resort.
Rescuers were able to get Gagnon off the mountain and crews from the Unified Fire Authority attempted life-saving efforts, but he was pronounced dead just before 12:40 p.m., according to police.
According to a joint statement from Intermountain Healthcare and Canyon Surgical Associates, Gagnon was a transplant surgeon.
"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," according to the statement.
Gagnon was also an "outdoor enthusiast, and lived for his family, patients, and fellow caregivers. The Intermountain Healthcare transplant family and entire transplant community in Utah will miss Dr. Gagnon and will honor his wonderful and lasting legacy."