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Killed When Police Helicopter Crashes While Responding To Charlottesville Riot

Virginia State Police helicopter crashes near Charlottesville, witnesses say

One of the Virginia State Troopers that died during yesterday's violent rallies in Charlottesville was a graduate of Germantown High School.

The helicopter was hovering near the white nationalist rally when it crashed into a wooded area on Old Farm Road around 5 p.m., just outside the city of Charlottesville, police said.

The pilot, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, is the son of Loudon county commissioner. There were no injuries on the ground from the accident.

Trooper Bates had served on an elite team assigned to protecting Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and his family.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the crash, no foul play has been suspected.

"Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day". In addition to this, thousands of counter-protesters were also anticipated to attend.

Lt. 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.

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President Donald Trump also offered his condolences in a tweet to the "families and fellow officers of the Virginia state police who died today".

Cullen is survived by his wife and two sons, according to the release.

Trooper-Pilot Burkes would have turned 41 years old Sunday, Aug. 13. Trooper-Pilot Bates was 40.

Although some on social media blamed the protests for the deaths of the people on the helicopter, it was not yet confirmed whether the helicopter was responding to the riots or protests.

Noll said he watched helplessly as the Bell 407 helicopter dropped vertically tail down. "You're all among the best this nation produces".

1 person died at the protesting area when a vehicle rammed into a crowd of protestors.

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