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Two state police pilots killed in Charlottesville helicopter crash

Two state police pilots killed in Charlottesville helicopter crash

Trooper-Pilot Bates graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004 as a member of the 107th Basic Session.

White nationalist clashes in Virginia linked to deaths of 2 people aboard crashed helicopter. "Their deaths are a tremendous loss to our agency and the Commonwealth". "Frankly I was a little shaken".

Virginia State Police confirmed that pilots Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, and Berke M.M. Bates, 40, of Quinton, died in the wreck.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jay and Berke, both of whom were our close friends and trusted members of our team", the statement said. "Berke was devoted to our entire family as part of our Executive Protective Unit team for the past three years", he said.

Lieutenant Cullen graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in May 1994 as a member of the 90 Basic Session. He is survived by his wife and two children, a son and daughter. These heroes were a part of our family and we are simply heartbroken.

President Donald Trump also issued a tweet.

Deepest condolences to the families & fellow officers of the VA State Police who died today. "You're all among the best this nation produces", he tweeted Saturday.

Cullen was the Aviation Unit Commander, a position he was promoted to in February of this year.

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

The Bell 407 helicopter went down 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Charlottesville, Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said in an email.

The woman was taken to UVA Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Virginia State Police stated, "formally established Jan. 1, 1984, the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit's primary mission is to provide aircraft for search, rescue, law enforcement and medical evacuation missions through its three Aviation Bases located in Chesterfield County, Lynchburg and Abingdon. So sad", he wrote on Facebook.