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State police helicopter turned upside down before fatal crash — Witness

State police helicopter turned upside down before fatal crash — Witness

Two state police troopers were killed in the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, yesterday, as a group of white supremacists took over the college town for hate-filled rally.

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

Trooper-Pilot Bates had just transferred to the Aviation Unit in July, from the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Their helicopter crashed in a wooded residential area around 5 p.m. Saturday while they were patrolling the unfolding events in Charlottesville.

Jay Cullen, 48, (l.), and Berke M.M. Bates, 40, (r.) died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the violent clashes in Charlottesville.

Police dispersed the rally after Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared the state of emergency Saturday morning.

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

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jay and Berke, both of whom were our close friends and trusted members of our team", McAuliffe said in a statement. "This is a devastating loss for their families, the Virginia State Police, and the entire commonwealth". Lieutenant Cullen is survived by his wife and two sons. Jay has flown us across the Commonwealth for more than three and a half years.

"It was very apparent that the pilot was trying to gain control of the craft", Robby Noll, who was doing yard work in Albemarle County, told CBS6. Our hearts go out to their wives and children, and we stand by to support them during this difficult time. "Berke was devoted to our entire family as part of our Executive Protective Unit team for the past three years", he said. These heroes were a part of our family and we are simply heartbroken. One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt.

Cullen was the Aviation Unit Commander, a position he was promoted to in February of this year.