WASATCH FRONT NEWS: Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, and Wasatch counties

‘Wrong place at wrong time’: Mother of deadly Millcreek Canyon avalanche victim speaks out

Local News

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — An emotional and impassioned Jill Moughamian in an interview with ABC 4 said her daughter, Sarah, was a very strong, confident, and compassionate young woman.

At 29 years old, Sarah Moughamian, along with three others died in a backcountry avalanche in Millcreek Canyon Saturday.

Jill said Sarah specifically moved back to Salt Lake City to be with her two loves.

“I am okay right now, of course it was terrible news, but life goes on,” said Jill.

The Moughamian’s grew up in rural Idaho. Jill and her husband still live there now.

Jill said her daughter undoubtedly lived life to the fullest

“She is a very competent skier,” said Jill. “This was just, I think, the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The time was 11:40 a.m. Saturday when the call came in for four skiers that were buried in Millcreek Canyon while four others unburied themselves and got help.

In video from Unified Police it shows helmet camera footage of the recovery effort.

“I mean I would just like to take this opportunity to tell everyone a little bit about our daughter Sarah,” said Jill.

Sarah was one of five siblings, went to college out east, but yearned to come back near her hometown in Idaho.

“So I talked to her last week,” said Jill. “She is one of my best friends.”

Jill and Sarah were a mom and daughter best friend duo.

Sarah moved back to Salt lake City for two reasons.

“There she found her two loves,” said Jill.

Sarah found her love for outdoor activities and her soulmate, her longtime boyfriend, while in Salt Lake City.

“He was actually the one that dug her out after he dug out two other people and when he got to her, she wasn’t breathing, and he tried to resuscitate her unsuccessfully and he stayed with her until the rescue,” said Jill.

Sarah was no stranger to skiing, rock climbing, and mountaineering.

She tried to spend every weekend with a new adventure. She was athletic and active and always wanted to keep up with her brother’s rambunctious lifestyle.

Jill said she will honor her daughter every day for the rest of her life.

Sarah’s boyfriend one of the four survivors in the deadly avalanche Saturday.

The three others who dead were also in their 20’s; Louis Holian, age 26, of Salt Lake City, UT Stephanie Hopkins, age 26, of Salt Lake City, UT and Thomas Louis Steinbrecher, age 23, of Salt Lake City, UT.

As we learn more and talk to more survivors and victims we will tell you those stories right here on ABC4.

A group known as Utah is Rad has since started a GoFundMe that has already raised $3,300 as of Sunday evening.

The GoFundMe post says, “100% of funds will be used as guided by the survivors and victims’ families as needed. Remaining funds will go to Utah Avalanche Center and Salt Lake County Search and Rescue, as needed. We started the GoFundMe because we wanted an outlet for friends, family members and our rad community of backcountry skiers to have a place to put their support.”

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