Helicopter crashes in Virginia

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

The pilot, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, is the son of a Loudon county commissioner.

Virginia State Police are investigating a helicopter crash in Albemarle County in which 2 Virginia State Police pilots died. "Their deaths are a tremendous loss to our agency and the Commonwealth".

Cullen had over 20 years of service with the state police and is survived by a wife and two sons.

Geller said the aircraft was not the state police helicopter seen circling above Saturday's white nationalist rally in downtown Charlottesville, a gathering at which a auto was driven into a group of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19. He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004 as a member of the 107th Basic Session.

Bates was recruited by the Virginia State Police from Florida, his father said, where he distinguished himself as a highway patrolman by rescuing a young girl who had been kidnapped.

Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen. Berke Bates, who would have turned 41 Sunday, was just beginning to realize a lifelong dream of becoming a helicopter pilot.

Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, State Police Superintendent, said the police department are both mourning the loss of the two men in addition to processing the tumultuous day.

Bates joined the aviation unit as a trooper-pilot last month and was flying with a fellow police veteran Saturday. Jay has flown us across the Commonwealth for more than three and a half years. Berke was part of my executive protection unit. Our hearts go out to their wives and children, and we stand by to support them during this hard time.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe and first lady Dorothy McAuliffe released a statement Saturday night saying, "These heroes were part of our family, and we are simply heartbroken".

This happened just a short drive outside of Charlottesville where multiple people were injured and one person killed Saturday during various altercations resulting from "pro-white" protests that were taking place there.

Deputies say one person is in custody and another person is wanted after they broke into a home on Upward Road.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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