Monday, July 15, 2024
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Children of Bernalillo County rescue specialist killed in helicopter crash get special scholarship



ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Nearly two years ago, four Bernalillo County first responders gave the ultimate sacrifice losing their lives in a helicopter crash on a northern New Mexico firefighting mission.  

It was an emotional day for Kyra King and her brother Aedden as they spoke of their father, Lt. Matthew King, who was killed in a helicopter crash in 2022. “I think he would be pretty proud of all the things we have accomplished since a year and a half ago specifically with like school and being more of an adult,” said Aedden King.

Now a group is making sure the children of one of the men who died in that crash can help pay for college. “Definitely emotional but happy that it’s happening,” said Kyra King, Wright scholarship recipient.  

“I think he would be pretty proud of all the things we have accomplished since a year and a half ago specifically with like school and being more of an adult,” said Aedden King, Wright scholarship recipient. 

Aedden is a University of New Mexico geography student while his sister Kyra will go to Central New Mexico Community College full-time next semester. Thursday, both were awarded the Toby Wright Scholarship in memory of their father Lt. Matthew King. 

The Bernalillo County rescue specialist was killed in 2022 when BCSO’s helicopter crashed while assisting on a wildfire near Las Vegas, New Mexico. “I think he would be happy to know that there’s people taking care of us,” said Kyra King. 

The scholarship grants between one and eight thousand dollars to students whose parent was seriously hurt or killed on the job. The money can help pay rent groceries and other costs besides tuition. “We also try to help them not have to work so they can focus on their education and continue to be successful with their education,” said Brock Carter, President, WCA of New Mexico Foundation.  

Stephanie Kelsey is another student who received the scholarship saying the financial aid has been a lifeline. “Without the Toby Wright Scholarship, I honestly don’t think I would be able to continue an education after high school. I really thought I wouldn’t be able to,” said Stephanie Kelsey Wright Scholarship recipient. 

“We’re both really thankful for everyone who is here and for our chance to be better and have more opportunity to living life without this completely getting in the way of everything,” said Kyra King.  

Over nearly three decades, the scholarship from the New Mexico Workers Compensation has awarded around $1.5 million to over 70 students in the state. 



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