NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office provided a timeline of events leading up to the helicopter crash that killed four Bernalillo County first responders. Saturday, BCSO’s “Metro 2” helicopter crashed near Las Vegas, New Mexico, while returning from assisting fire crews with the East Mesa Fire.
The victims in the crash have been identified as Undersheriff Larry Koren, Lieutenant Fred Beers, Deputy Michael Levison, and from Bernalillo County Fire Rescue, Rescue Specialist Matthew King. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Officials say it could take months to complete the independent investigations. New Mexico State Police says its investigators are now working alongside federal investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to look into the cause of the crash.
Timeline leading up to crash below:
- 10:56 am – Launch Double Eagle Airport for PR event at Valle Del Oso on 2nd St.
- 11:12 am – Arrive to Valle Del Oso
- 12:48 pm – Depart Valle Del Oso to retrieve kayaks left on the Rio Grande river from the previous day near Rio Grande Blvd. and Chamisal Rd.
- 1:18 pm – Arrive to Double Eagle Airport
- 1:48 pm – Depart from Double Eagle Airport for East Mesa Fire to assist with bucket drops and short haul
- 2:50 pm – Arrive on the scene for East Mesa Fire and set up bucket for bucket drops
- 3:05 pm – Launch from initial scene and performed approximately 20 bucket drops before next landing
- 4:19 pm – Arrive to Las Vegas Airport to refuel
- 4:32 pm – Depart from Las Vegas Airport to perform more bucket drops
- 6:22 pm – Arrive to Las Vegas Airport to refuel; mission at East Mesa Fire complete for the day
- 6:36 pm – Depart from Las Vegas to return back to Double Eagle
- 7:18 pm – Last known location just south of Las Vegas, New Mexico
BCSO uses its helicopter to provide aerial firefighting and other assistance across New Mexico. In the past week, BCSO used the Metro 2 helicopter to fight a small fire in the East Mountains near Albuquerque.