2 killed in helicopter crash in Albemarle County

Image courtesy of Newsplex

Image courtesy of Newsplex

Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40, of Quinton, both died at the scene.

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. "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".

The state police said the National Transportation Safety Board and Virginia State Police are investigating the crash, which reportedly took place in a wooded area, Xinhua reported.

Police dispersed the rally after Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared the state of emergency Saturday morning.

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"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jay and Berke, both of whom were our close friends and trusted members of our team". "This is a devastating loss for their families, the Virginia State Police, and the entire commonwealth". The unit also employs three full-time mechanics for its fleet and exceeds minimum FAA maintenance requirements.

"He was a good trooper", Robert Bates told the Washington Post. CNN reports that the cause of the crash is still being investigated, but that no foul play is suspected. Berke was devoted to our entire family as part of our Executive Protective Unit team for the past three years.

"Our state police and law enforcement family at large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day", said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent. He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004 as a member of the 107th Basic Session. And at this time we do have two confirmed fatalities.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, a video posted by TMZ appears to show the helicopter crash along with its fiery aftermath.