White nationalist clashes linked to helicopter deaths in VA, officials say

(Source: Virginia State Police Facebook Page)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP/WSPA/WAVY) – Virginia state police say one of its helicopters crashed outside Charlottesville, killing 2 troopers.

WAVY is reporting that 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.

There is no indication of foul play 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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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Officials: White nationalist clashes in Virginia linked to deaths of 2 people aboard crashed helicopter.

Officials say the deaths of two people in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville, Virginia, have been linked to a violent white nationalist rally earlier in the day. It was not immediately clear how the crash was connected to the rally.

State Police said Saturday that the helicopter crashed in a wooded area near a home. No one on the ground was injured. Police said they are investigating the cause of the crash.

WAVY is reporting that the two people aboard that helicopter were state troopers.

This happened just a short drive outside of Charlottesville where multiple people were injured and one person killed Saturday during various altercations resulting from “pro-white” protests that were taking place there.