2 killed when small plane crashes near New Mexico airport

RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) — Communities throughout Lincoln County are mourning the loss of a father and son.

The pair was killed when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport in Ruidoso Tuesday night.

Just moments after take off, a plane leaving Ruidoso went down south of the runway. The crash killed the pilot Justin King and his eldest son, Hayden.

Justin was very involved in the Ruidoso community.

“He was involved with school, sports, coached just about everything in the community he was from, Captian, just really good quality guy,” Village of Ruidoso Manager Debi Lee said.

Justin was president of the Capitan School Board. His family lives in the Alto area.

“It’s a sad, sad day for the community here. He was very well liked,” Lee said.

At one time, Justin was an employee of the Village of Ruidoso, an interim airport director. He left the village to start his own business with his brother and father, King Industries Corporation.

Justin was the main consultant on plans for the restoration of Bonito Lake after the Little Bear Fire.

In a statement released by the family through the company, “Together as coach and player, father and son, Justin and Hayden celebrated the win of the Capitan Little League Championship with their Capitan Tiger Team, family friends and community. Justin and Hayden will be greatly missed.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.


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