CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP/WCMH) — Virginia State Police said one of their agency’s helicopters crashed Saturday outside Charlottesville, killing two troopers.
Police said the helicopter was assisting law enforcement officers monitor the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.
Police said Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian and Trooper-Pilot Burke M.M. Bates of Quinton were killed in the crash.
No one on the ground was injured.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by state police, the FAA and NTSB. Police say there is no indication of foul play in the crash.
“Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent. “Lieutenant Cullen was a highly-respected professional aviator and Trooper-Pilot Bates was a welcome addition to the Aviation Unit, after a distinguished assignment as a special agent with our Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Their deaths are a tremendous loss to our agency and the Commonwealth,” Flaherty continued.
The crash happened just a few hours after a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting against the white nationalist rally. One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt.