The helicopter pilot, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Virginia, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40, of Quinton, Virginia, died at the scene of the crash in Albemarle County, the state police said in a statement included in a Twitter message sent by NBC29 of Charlottesville.
Two people were killed after a helicopter crashed on Saturday seven miles southwest of Charlottesville, in the state of Virginia. They were in the area to monitor the civil unrest that was occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia. A 32-year-old woman died when a car plowed into a crowd dispersing after police broke up the melee in the city's downtown. The unit is staffed by Trooper-Pilots, all of whom are sworn members of the Department, are qualified "Police Pilots", and have private pilots' licenses. "Their deaths are a tremendous loss to our agency and the Commonwealth". No one on the ground was injured, it said. The unit also employs three full-time mechanics for its fleet and exceeds minimum FAA maintenance requirements. Berke was devoted to our entire family as part of our Executive Protective Unit team for the past three years.
Sources familiar with the operation said state police were filming the Charlottesville protests from the helicopter. Our hearts go out to their wives and children, and we stand by to support them during this difficult time. He had just transferred to the Aviation Unit as a Trooper-Pilot in July.
"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. There is no indication of foul play being a factor in the crash.
"This is a devastating loss for their families, the Virginia State Police, and the entire commonwealth". One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.
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