2 Virginia State Police Officers Died In Helicopter Crash Related To Charlottesville Protests
Two Virginia State Police officers died in a helicopter crash in Charlottesville, VA, on Saturday evening. According to the State Police’s Facebook page, they were assisting public safety resources on the ground during the violent white nationalist protest taking place in the city.
Lt. H. Jay Cullen was the pilot and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates was the only other person on the Bell 407 helicopter when it crashed in a wooded area near a residence at 5 p.m., state police told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The incident did not injure anyone on the ground.
“Our state police and law enforcement family at large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day,” Col. W. Steven Flaherty, VSP superintendent, said in a statement posted to the department’s Facebook page. “Lieutenant Cullen was a highly respected professional aviator and trooper-pilot Bates was a welcome addition to the Aviation Unit, after a distinguished assignment as a special agent with our Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Their deaths are a tremendous loss to our agency and the commonwealth.”
According to the statement, the VSP, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board are all involved in investigating the crash. They do not …read more