Two Virginia state troopers killed in helicopter crash at golf course tied to violent clashes in Charlottesville

[8/13/17]  A pair of Virginia State Police pilots were killed in a helicopter crash while monitoring the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

The helicopter was hovering near the white nationalist rally when it crashed outside the city.

“Deepest condolences to the families & fellow officers of the VA State Police who died today. You’re all among the best this nation produces,” President Trump tweeted shortly before 7 p.m.

The chopper was hovering low over houses before it went down roughly two hours earlier in a wooded area near the Birdwood Golf Course, the Daily Progress newspaper reports.

Virginia State Police confirmed that pilots Lt. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, and Berke M.M. Bates, of Quinton, died in the wreck.

Cullen spent more than two decades with the state force and is survived by a wife and two sons, official said.

Bates, a 13-year veteran of the state police, died one day shy of his 41st was just shy of his 41st birthday.