New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | September 25, 2017

Bates, state trooper from Quinton, dies in helicopter crash near Charlottesville

By Community Member | August 12, 2017 10:50 pm
Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M.Bates.Virginia State Police photo

Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M.Bates.

Virginia State Police photo

A Virginia State Trooper from Quinton was among two officers who died in a helicopter accident on Aug.12.

Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who would have turned 41 on Aug. 13, passed away tragically while on patrol in Albermarle County. The pilot, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, also died in the crash.

According to the state police report, the aviation unit was assisting public safety resources with the ongoing protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville when if crashed into a wooded area shortly before 5 p.m. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, but Virginia State Police spokesman Colonel W. Steven Flaherty said in a press release, “Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day.”

Bates graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004 as a member of the 107th Basic Session. He recently transferred into the aviation unit as a trooper-pilot in July. Bates is survived by his wife, a son, and a daughter.