VSP identifies troopers killed in helicopter crash near Charlottesville

Trooper Jay Cullen (left) Trooper Berke M. M. Bates (right) (Photos courtesy of the Virginia State Police Facebook page)

ALBERMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Sate Police have identified the two troopers killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday.

VSP says the crash happened shortly after 5 p.m. The crash happened in a wooden area near a home on Old Farm Road.

The two troopers have been identified as 48-year-old Jay Cullen and 40-year-old Berke M.M. Bates. They both died at the scene.

The crew was in the area assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation in Charlottesville.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. There is no indication of foul play being a factor in the crash.

Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorthy McAuliffe released the following statement about the deaths:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jay and Berke, both of whom were our close friends and trusted members of our team. Jay has flown us across the commonwealth for more than three and a half years. Berke was devoted to our entire family as part of our Executive Protective Unit team for the past three years.

“This is a devastating loss for their families, the Virginia State Police, and the entire commonwealth. Our hearts go out to their wives and children, and we stand by to support them during this difficult time. These heroes were a part of our family and we are simply heartbroken.”

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