LAS VEGAS, NM (KTSM) – On Sunday, The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) released the names of the four men who died Saturday afternoon in a helicopter crash while on the way back to Albuquerque after assisting with the East Mesa Fire.

Three BCSO personnel and 1 member of the Bernalillo County Fire Rescue (BCFR) were on board the “Metro 2” helicopter. BCSO revealed the names of those on the aircraft as Undersheriff Larry Koren, Lieutenant Fred Beers, Deputy Michael Levison, and from BCFR, Rescue Specialist Matthew King.

New Mexico State Police say its investigators are now working alongside federal investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to look into the cause of the crash.

On July 16 at approximately 7:20 p.m, the BCSO helicopter known as Metro 2 crashed just outside of Las Vegas, NM. The helicopter and its crew were assisting with a wildfire in the area, providing bucket drops and other air logistics needs to fire crews on the ground. As a multifaceted/multiagency investigation is currently ongoing, the information we provide in this update is still considered preliminary. At this time, the specific cause of the crash is unknown.

I am heartbroken by the tragic loss of four New Mexicans while in the line of duty. These were four dedicated public servants who were doing what so many of our first responders do day in and day out: working tirelessly to serve and protect their fellow New Mexicans. On behalf of the people of New Mexico, I extend my deepest gratitude to these four brave individuals, and my deepest sympathy to their families, friends and colleagues.

Governor of New Mexico, Lujan Grisham

 “As we await additional details on the investigation, my office will offer any available support and assistance to the sheriff’s office and the county. State resources will be fully available to assist the investigation.”

The BCSO are working with the Office of the Medical Investigator to recover the fallen from the crash site and escort them to Albuquerque. BCSO says their focus now remains on providing care and support for the surviving family members as they grapple with the situation.

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