Former Centerville cross country runner killed in Utah snow avalanche remembered for his caring attitude

SANDY, Utah — A backcountry skier from Centerville was one of two people killed after they were swept up and buried in an avalanche May 9 in the mountains outside of Salt Lake City that occurred after several days of spring snowstorms, authorities said.

Andrew Joseph Cameron, 22, a Centerville native who was living in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, was found dead along with 32-year-old Austin Mallet of Montana.

A rescue team went to the area mid-morning after the avalanche was reported near Lone Peak in the Wasatch Range southeast of Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said. A third skier, who was able to dig himself out of the snow, was rescued and taken to a hospital, Rivera said. She said she believed he was the one who called for help.

Storms on the three previous days brought up to 3 feet (1 meter) of heavy, wet snow and strong winds to the area.

“And that instantly ramped up the avalanche danger,” said Craig Gordon, an avalanche forecaster with the U.S. Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center.

“The other factor that complicated weather and snow conditions is that it’s spring and weather patterns and weather systems can change very quickly in the mountains,” he said. A day could start off sunny and clear before giving way to clouds or snow or strong winds.

Cameron graduated in 2020 from Centerville High School, and then attended Utah State University. He was an Eagle Scout, and he had an adventurous spirit and a deep love for the outdoors. He would often embark on backcountry skiing excursions, ultra-light backpacking, and trail running, his obituary reads.

High school friends who ran cross country with Cameron said he was good teammate.

“My heart is broken after hearing the devastating news. He was one of the best cross countryand track teammates we’ve ever had. He cared about everyone, and he was a funny and great guy. He brought all of us so much joy and spirit. I will always remember the memories of him at Centerville. He will always be in my thoughts,” said Eric Orf on Cameron’s obituary.

Ben Burkett ran cross country with Cameron.

“He was a great presence to be around. He always had a great attitude and lots of passion towards his own goals and to the rest of the team. My deepest condolences go out to friends and family,” Burkett wrote on Cameron’s obituary.

He was born Dec. 26, 2001 to Vince and Cindy (Landers) Cameron and he was survived by two brothers. Services were held on Wednesday for Cameron.

About the Author