State Police dedicate hangar to trooper killed in August helicopter crash

(Virginia State Police)

RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) - A Virginia State Police hangar has been dedicated to one of the troopers killed in a helicopter crash on August 12 just outside of Charlottesville.

State Police wrote on their Facebook page that friends and family gathered Wednesday, Feb. 7 at the Aviation Base in Chesterfield to honor the life of Lt. H. Jay Cullen III and Tooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.

The two were killed when their helicopter crashed in Albemarle County near the Birdwood Golf Course amid the chaos of the Unite the Right rally that was happening in Charlottesville.

During the ceremony, State Police officially renamed the hangar the "Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen Hangar."

Officials say Cullen spent 18 of his 24 years on the force with the aviation unit, and was promoted to sergeant in 2005.

“Lt. Cullen had one goal as the Aviation Unit Commander and that was to make the unit the best it could possibly be,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “And he succeeded through his exemplary leadership, professionalism, integrity and fortitude. Dedicating his name to this Chesterfield Aviation Base hangar is just one more way for the Department to demonstrate its sincere appreciation for the sacrifices Jay and his family have made all these years in order to support and fulfill the missions of the Aviation Unit and Virginia State Police.”

Lt. Cullen is survived by his wife and two teenage sons.

State police will dedicate and name the helipad at the headquarters in Chesterfield to Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.

The NTSB investigation into the helicopter crash is ongoing.

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