Brigham Young University student trapped in avalanche dies

1298321PROVO — Ashleigh Cox, was a 21 year old adventure lover from Colorado Springs.

Friend Elizabeth Kent says, “She was always up for anything you had in mind. If it was going snowshoeing or just going for a walk or doing just absolutely anything, she was up for it.”

Cox who was snowshoeing with friends in an abrupt gully near the Tibble Fork Reservoir in American Fork Canyon Saturday was swept away by a petite avalanche of just 50 feet. The avalanche left her masked and face down in a stream for about 40 minutes before being pulled out.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office was clueless about what triggered the slide.

Brigham Young University students who were tubing nearby also tried to help Cox.

On Sunday Cox was taken off from the life support at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo shortly after 4 p.m.

“It has been difficult for us to handle the sudden loss of our daughter. Our faith in God has and will continue to help us through this difficult time. She will be missed,” the family wrote. ”

“Ashleigh had plans to graduate from Brigham Young University this spring. She wished to continue further education in social work. She loved to work with those struggling with life’s challenges and dedicated her short life to serving others.”

She also went to help the orphans in Romania last summer.

“She was just very pure hearted. She was just the type of person who you wanted to be her friend because you knew she would be there for you and she wouldn’t let you down,” said Kent.

“She was one of the best people I have ever met in my life.”

“Some of the differences are simply the smiles and laughter of the children who wouldn’t change their facial expressions no matter how much I would try to coax them during the first few weeks the children who didn’t want to be touched that now cuddle up with me,” Cox wrote in a blog sharing her experience of Romania. “This experience has truly changed me, and I will never forget these children and the tremendous impact they have had on my life. I love them.”

Cox’s funeral will be held on Saturday in Colorado Springs. A memorial service has also been arranged in Provo on Feb. 18.

“We appreciate the love and concern expressed by family, friends, acquaintances and the community at BYU and in Colorado Springs for the loss of our daughter,” the family wrote.

The slide in American Fork was one of 14 recorded statewide by the Utah Avalanche Center on Saturday alone. A total of 17 avalanches had been recorded since Friday.

In an another event reported on Sunday, an avalanche killed Clint Conover, 36, of Ferron, Emery County, while he was snowmobiling near Huntington Reservoir.