2017 Charlottesville protests


Virginia State Police helicopter crashes in Charlottesville

PUBLISHED Sat, August 12, 2017 - 5:24pm EDT
Credit: Google

A Virginia State Police helicopter which was monitoring the protests in Charlottesville has crashed in a wooded area on the outskirts of the city, killing both occupants, officials say. The cause was not immediately known. (more)

The accident happened at about 4:50 p.m. ET on Saturday when the Bell 407 aircraft flew over a residential area at a low altitude and went down in a wooded area. It happened near 43 Old Farm Road in Charlottesville, which is close to the Birdwood Golf Course.

Both occupants were killed in the crash. They were identified as 48-year-old pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen from Midlothian and 40-year-old trooper/pilot Berke M.M. Bates from Quinton. There were no injuries on the ground.

"The Bell 407 helicopter was assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation in Charlottesville," state police said in a statement. "The cause of the crash remains under investigation .. there is no indication of foul play being a factor in the crash."

Both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the cause of the crash.

"Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day," said Virginia State Police Superintendent W. Steven Flaherty. "Their deaths are a tremendous loss to our agency and the Commonwealth."

President Donald Trump also expressed his condolences, writing on Twitter: "Deepest condolences to the families [and] fellow officers of the VA State Police who died today. You're all among the best this nation produces."

The city of Charlottesville has been the scene of a white nationalist rally, leading to violent clashes. A car slammed into counter-protesters about three hours before the helicopter crash, killing a woman and injuring 19 others.

To read more about the protests, click here.

  Charlottesville, VA        8 UPDATES



More Updates

 4 months   Volunteers in Charlottesville begin clean up following violent protests

              Volunteers in Charlottesville took to the streets of the city on Sunday (August 13) to clean up what was left behind after a protest had turned violent and caused the death of one woman and the injury of at least 19. At the site where a 20-year-old man from Ohio rammed his car into anti 'Unite The Right' protesters, a make shift memorial has been erected with flowers lining the road and visitors paying their respects. James Valles reports. (BNO News) Read More

       8 UPDATES



 4 months   WATCH: President Trump addresses violence in Charlottesville

              President Donald Trump has addressed the violence during the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a car was driven into counter-protesters, killing at least one person and injuring 19 others. Trump said he condemned the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides."

  Bedminster, NJ        8 UPDATES


 4 months   Car plows into crowd during protests in Virginia, killing 1

              A vehicle has plowed into a crowd of people during protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a woman and injuring nearly 20 others, local officials say. The driver - 20-year-old James Fields, Jr. from Ohio - has been charged with murder. (more) Read More

  Charlottesville, VA        8 UPDATES


 4 months   Brawl breaks out at Charlottesville rally

              One of several altercations that broke out at the rally in Charlottesville on Saturday

       8 UPDATES


 4 months   Scuffles break out at white supremacy rally in Virginia

              A dozen white marchers clashed briefly with counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a planned rally by thousands of white nationalists. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

       8 UPDATES



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