Update: FAA, NTSB investigating police helicopter crash

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - 3:35 p.m.

Virginia State Police say the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are assisting in the investigation into a fatal helicopter crash that claimed the lives of two state troopers.

The helicopter crashed shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday in a wooded area while assisting in law enforcement activities related to the clash between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville.

The pilot, 48-year-old Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian, and 40-year-old Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, died at the scene.

White nationalists were in Charlottesville on Saturday to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

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Virginia state police said one of their agency's helicopters crashed Saturday outside Charlottesville, killing two troopers.

Police said the helicopter was assisting law enforcement officers monitor the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Police said Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian and Trooper-Pilot Burke M.M. Bates of Quinton were killed in the crash.

The crash happened just a few hours after a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting against the white nationalist rally. One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt.

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8:40 p.m.

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. Corinne Geller, a Virignia State Police spokeswoman, says the pilot and a passenger were killed in the crash Saturday afternoon.

The crash happened just a few hours after a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting against the white nationalist rally. One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt.



 
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