Mourners remember Virginia trooper killed in helicopter crash
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) A state police trooper who died in the fatal crash of a helicopter that had been monitoring a violent white nationalist protest in Charlottesville was remembered Friday as a devoted family man and proud law enforcement officer.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe was among those who attended the funeral for Trooper Pilot Berke Bates at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Richmond on Friday. The service also was attended by troopers from around the country.
“He was a character and I’ll miss him greatly,” said McAuliffe, who told colorful stories of Bates from his time spent on the governor’s protective unit. The investigation into the crash is ongoing.
State Police Superintendent Col. Steven Flaherty said Bates’ work filming the rally was instrumental in helping police catch the man who they say drove the car that plowed into a group of protesters, killing one woman and injuring at least 19 people.
Bates had recently gotten his pilot’s license,
and had joined the aviation unit only last month.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
Troopers killed in helicopter crash
The Virginia State Police Association (VSPA) says they have received many calls from citizens wanting to make donations in memory of Lt. Pilot H. Jay Cullen, III and Trooper Pilot Berke M. Bates. Anyone wishing to make a donation may do so through the Association’s Emergency Relief Fund. You may donate by mailing a check to the office, but please notate in the memo section of your check “Lt. Cullen and/or Tpr. Bates.” VSPA Office 6944 Forest Hill Ave Richmond, VA 23225. Cullen and/or Tpr. Bates” in the comment section. Donations are tax deductible through the VSPA ERF fund but more importantly 100 percent of the donation will go to the families. If you have any questions, call the VSPA office at 804 320 6272.