2 killed in helicopter crash in Albemarle County

Two dead after helicopter crash in Albemarle County

Police helicopter crashes near Charlotteville protest site

Virginia State Police Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates were working with the Charlottesville Police and their brothers and sisters in the Virginia State Police to help ensure the safety of the many city residents and visitors who were in Charlottesville yesterday.

Virginia State Police said Saturday that the helicopter crashed in a wooded area near a home. There were no injuries on the ground from the accident.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation at this time.

"Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day".

Earlier in the day, a vehicle rammed into a crowd of counter protesters.

In a press release identifying the victims, authorities said the helicopter was assisting in efforts in Charlottesville.

In a statement published late Saturday night, McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy McAuliffe, said Cullen and Bates' deaths were a truly "devastating loss". He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004 as a member of the 107th Basic Session.

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

He joined the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit in 1999. One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt.

Trooper-Pilot Bates would have turned 41 years old Sunday, Aug. 13.

Just before the incident, thousands of white nationalists, neo-Confederates and right-wing protesters, as well as groups that oppose them, clashed during the "Unite the Right" rally at the Emancipation Park in the downtown.

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