Two dead after helicopter crash in Albemarle County

Virginia State Police helicopter crashes near Charlottesville, witnesses say

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued an update on the fatal helicopter crash that killed two Virginia State Police troopers on Saturday.

The pilot, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Va., and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va., died at the scene.

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. There were no injuries on the ground from the accident.

The release says a preliminary report on the circumstances of the crash will be available online within two or three weeks.

Their helicopter was "assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation in Charlottesville", according to a police statement.

Lt. Cullen graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in May 1994 as a member of the 90th Basic Session.

President Donald Trump also offered his condolences in a tweet to the "families and fellow officers of the Virginia state police who died today". He first joined the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit in 1999.

Bates would have turned 41 years old Sunday, Aug. 13. Trooper-Pilot Bates was 40. In addition to the deaths of the troopers and one other identified person, at least 34 people were injured in the auto ramming and other violence. Last night, they held an impromptu rally at the University of Virginia, which led to violent clashes with counter-protesters. "You're all among the best this nation produces".

The crash happened just a couple hours after a vehicle plowed into a crowd of people.

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