COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Doherty High School is mourning the loss of 2010 graduate Ashleigh Cox who died from an avalanche in Utah.
Cox, 21, was snowshoeing with friends on Saturday (2/8/14) at American Fork Canyon, south of Salt Lake City, when an avalanche hit. She died in the hospital a day later.
Cox graduated from Thomas B. Doherty High School in 2010. Staff say she was a role model.
"A life cut too short," said Thomas B. Doherty High School Athletic Director Chris Noll. "Always had a smile on her face, always full of life, full of energy; cared more about others than herself."
Doherty High School has now lost two students in two months. Senior Brandon Trapp died in a car accident on Dec. 30.
"It's just a double blow to us. We really believe here at Doherty that we're family. So every time we lose someone, it's a great impact on our school," said Principal Dennis Vigil.
Ashleigh Cox was very involved in Track and Field and Cross Country. The entire athletic department is mourning its loss.
"She did unbelievably well in track, but you really didn't notice that because of the amazing person that she was," said Noll.
Cox was a college student at BYU. A weekend adventure quickly turned deadly. The Utah County Sheriff's Office said she was buried under an avalanche for 40 minutes. She had also been pushed into a stream. Cox died the next day.
"I think the most difficult part is the question why? Why does this happen to somebody like Ashleigh? But ultimately, we try to support our kids. We try to make sure that we're there for our kids," said Noll.
That is exactly what Doherty will have to do. Two of their current students are Cox's siblings.
"It's time for us to rally and support the family, support her siblings," said Noll.
As he put it, Ashleigh Cox was an unforgettable Spartan. "She's a role model for what we want our kids to be."
Students have been asking the school to hold a moment of silence. Principal Vigil said he's considering doing something like a memorial for Cox.