BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police, through their Facebook page, issued condolences to the members of Virginia State Police after two of their pilots were killed in a helicopter crash while assisting during the situation in Charlottesville.
La. State Police say in a post:
Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, died in Saturday's helicopter crash near Charlottesville.
The helicopter was assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation in Charlottesville, State Police said Saturday night.
"Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day," said Col. 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."
Cullen graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in May 1994 as a member of the 90th Basic Session. He first joined the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit in 1999. Cullen is survived by his wife and two sons.
Bates would have turned 41 years old Sunday, Aug. 13. He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004 as a member of the 107th Basic Session. He had just transferred to the Aviation Unit as a Trooper-Pilot in July.