August 14, 2017

Jay Cullen and Berke Bates - Virginia State Police Fatalities

A terrible tragedy occurred in Virginia on August 12, 2017. 

In the late afternoon, two Virginia State Police officers were in a helicopter and were on the way to monitor civil unrest demonstrations that were going on in Charlottesville. They were assigned to monitor the Virginia Governor's motorcade as he was arriving in Charlottesville to assess the situation. 

Jay Cullen (Left); Berke Bates (Right)
The helicopter malfunctioned or some other catastrophic event occurred which caused the helicopter to crash to the ground in a wooded area in Albermarle County, Virginia.

Tragically deceased in the line of duty are:

Lieutenant Pilot Jay Cullen, age 48, from Midlothian, Virginia. Jay was the commander of the Aviation Unit. He had 23 years service with the State Police. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and his two sons. 

Michael, Patron Saint of the
Police, pray for Jay and for
Berke and for those who
have lost them. 
Friends describe Jay as man who was kind in spirit and a man who had a great sense of humor.

Trooper Pilot Berke Bates, age 40, from New Kent, Virginia. Berke was assigned to the Aviation Unit. He had 13 years service with the State Police. He had previously served with the Florida Highway Patrol for 6 years. He is survived by his wife, Amanda, and his twin son and daughter. He died the day before his 41st birthday.

Friends and family describe Berke as a brave trooper who stepped up in times of distress.

The members of the Virginia State Police are in mourning over the deaths of their brothers. Jay and Berke died as heroes in the service of Virginia. They were the good guys. They will be forever remembered.

The loved ones of Jay and Berke are devastated over their sudden and tragic deaths. They were loved. They did their best. They will be forever mourned.

Oceans of tears have been shed for these men.

Thank you for your service to Virginia, Jay and Berke.

Pray for all who die in the line of duty.

Pray for all who die by misadventure. They are with us one moment and are gone before we can say goodbye.

Pray that Jay is in Heaven. Pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen.

Pray that Berke is in Heaven. Pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen.

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