Lieutenant H Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Virginia, was one of the victims who died in the helicopter crash, officials said.
He was a 1994 graduate of the Virginia State Police Academy, and first joined the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit in 1999, according to a statement issued by Virginia State Police. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
The other victim was identified as Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Virginia. Both men died at the scene.
Bates would’ve turned 41 on Sunday, the state police said in its statement. He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004, and transferred to the Aviation Unit as a trooper-pilot in July. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
“Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day,” Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, said in the statement. “Lieutenant Cullen was a highly-respected professional aviator and Trooper-Pilot Bates was a welcome addition to the Aviation Unit, after a distinguished assignment as a special agent with our Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Their deaths are a tremendous loss to our agency and the Commonwealth.”
Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.