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NTSB: no evidence police helicopter struck by animal, object

Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian, Va., and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va. (Photos: State Police)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A new report says there's no sign a Virginia State Police helicopter that crashed after monitoring violent clashes in Charlottesville last month was struck by another aircraft, animal or object.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued a preliminary report Tuesday into the Aug. 12 crash that killed two state troopers, the pilot and an observer. The report said the helicopter went into a nose-down spin prior to the crash.

The helicopter was providing a video feed of a violent white nationalist rally when it broke off to watch over Gov. Terry McAuliffe's motorcade. It crashed on the outskirts of Charlottesville, leaving a debris field several hundred feet long.

The report does not say what likely caused the crashed and the NTSB's investigation is ongoing.

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