Authorities confirmed two people were killed in a helicopter crash Saturday near the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
According to CBS News, the crash occurred in a wooded area about 7 miles southwest of the deadly protest site. Authorities said the incident was connected to the rally, but declined to elaborate. The FFA has also confirmed the aircraft was a Virginia State Police helicopter. The pilot, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates died at the scene. No one on the ground was injured.
Shortly after the helicopter went down, Donald Trump expressed his condolences via Twitter.
The National Transportation Safety Board, FFA, and state police are investigating the crash. Authorities said there is no indication of foul play.
“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. “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.”
The helicopter crash occurred a couple of hours after a car plowed through a crowd of counter-protesters, leaving one dead and many others injured.