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Rockingham County paramedic killed in January remembered

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- It's been six months since Capt. William McKinney Jr., known to many as “Billy,” died while helping others.

McKinney was a paramedic with Rockingham County EMS for 19 years.

But months after his death, his life and service are still being honored through memorials and tributes to his family.

McKinney’s family got a plaque from the North Carolina Military Order of the Purple Heart USA on Wednesday.

The memorial is given to EMS workers and other public servants killed in the line of duty.

In June, McKinney was also honored by the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride.

Wake County EMS paramedic Derek Collins rode more than 500 miles in McKinney’s memory.

On Jan. 14, McKinney was hit by a tractor-trailer after he stopped to help drivers on the highway who had been in a crash.

Lisa McKinney says the many tributes to her late husband have helped her get through the darkest moment of her life.

“We want something good to come out of something bad,” she said.

Lisa says she's also trying to preserve her husband's legacy by starting a scholarship for students studying to become paramedics.

The family is also hosting a memorial motorcycle ride on Aug. 29.

All proceeds will go towards the McKinney family.

The ride starts and ends at Oregon Hill Volunteer Fire Department in Reidsville at 8:30 a.m.

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