Funeral arrangements finalized for VSP pilots killed in helicopter crash

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Funeral arrangements have been finalized for the two Virginia State Police pilots killed in a helicopter crash in Albemarle County on Saturday, August 12.

Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates were killed when a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed into a wooded area near a home on Old Farm Road.

The Virginia State Police helicopter was flying over the Charlottesville-area assisting with public safety at the "Unite the Right" rally.

Trooper-Pilot Bates

Visitation for Trooper-Pilot Bates will be held on Thursday, August 17 at Nelson Funeral Home, located at 4650 South Laburnum Avenue. Visitation will last from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

His funeral will be held on Friday, August 18 at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Paul’s Baptist Church, located at 4247 Creighton Road in Richmond.

The interment will be a private graveside service.

Visitation for Lieutenant Cullen will be held on Friday, August 18 at Bennett Funeral Home, located at 14301 Ashbrook Parkway in Chesterfield. Visitation will last from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Lt. H. Jay Cullen

His funeral will be held on Saturday, August 19 at 10:00 a.m. at Southside Church of the Nazarene, located at 6851 Courthouse Road.

The burial will be a private graveside service.

Lt. Cullen graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in May 1994 as a member of the 90th Basic Session. He first joined the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit in 1999.

Cullen is survived by his wife and two sons.

Trooper-Pilot Bates would have turned 41 years old Sunday, Aug. 13. He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004 as a member of the 107th Basic Session. He had just transferred to the Aviation Unit as a Trooper-Pilot in July.

Bates is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

For those wishing to support the Cullen and/or Bates families financially, contributions are being accepted through the Virginia State Police Association (VSPA0 (www.vspa.org) Emergency Relief Fund (ERF). Monetary donations can be made by check (made payable to VSPA-ERF with “Jay Cullen” and/or “Berke Bates” noted in the memo) or Citizens may also donate through PayPal by visiting  http://vspa.org/initiatives/emergency-relief-fund.  When donating through PayPal please be sure to note the donation is for "Lt. Cullen and/or Tpr. Bates" in the comment section. Checks can be mailed to the VSPA ERF at 6944 Forest Hill Avenue, Richmond, VA 23225. All donations to the VSPA-ERF are tax deductible, and 100% of the donation goes to the families. For any additional questions, please contact the VSPA at 804-320-6272.