We have these photos avail for RON use. Lt. Cullen is pictured on the left. Trooper-Pilot Bates is on the right. 
The two officers died in a Virginia State Police helicopter crash this afternoon in Albermarle County, Virginia.
Virginia State Police
We have these photos avail for RON use. Lt. Cullen is pictured on the left. Trooper-Pilot Bates is on the right. The two officers died in a Virginia State Police helicopter crash this afternoon in Albermarle County, Virginia.
Now playing
00:49
Two state troopers killed in helicopter crash
Now playing
03:44
Do the 1990s hold the key to sustainable websites?
Now playing
01:10
Watch SpaceX land its Mars rocket prototype for the first time
Now playing
05:52
The climate crisis is taking these farmers' most valuable resource
U.S. President Donald Trump works on his phone during a roundtable at the State Dining Room of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump held a roundtable discussion with Governors and small business owners on the reopening of American's small business. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump works on his phone during a roundtable at the State Dining Room of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump held a roundtable discussion with Governors and small business owners on the reopening of American's small business. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:37
Facebook Oversight Board: Indefinite suspension of Trump's account is 'not appropriate'
Now playing
03:41
How technology at NASA helps guide Biden on climate
Now playing
01:42
A vaccine without needles? It's on the way
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06:  Host Conan O'Brien speaks onstage during the 5th Annual NFL Honors at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Host Conan O'Brien speaks onstage during the 5th Annual NFL Honors at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:48
Conan announces his last show after 30 years in late night
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Now playing
03:14
Will Trump be allowed back on Facebook? This board will decide
CNN
Now playing
05:16
WTF is a SPAC?
Now playing
01:51
A shortage of tanker truck drivers could cause stations to run out of gas
CEO at Verizon Media K. Guru Gowrappan appears at the 2019 Verizon Media NewFront on April 30, 2019 in New York City.
Noam Galai/Getty Images for Verizon Media
CEO at Verizon Media K. Guru Gowrappan appears at the 2019 Verizon Media NewFront on April 30, 2019 in New York City.
Now playing
02:47
Verizon sells off Yahoo and AOL
Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, attends the 2019 annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, attends the 2019 annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:40
Warren Buffett warns on US inflation
Now playing
01:00
Astronauts splash down after record-setting mission
ATLANTA - APRIL 30:  A Boeing 757 with a new Delta Airlines logo sits on the tarmac following the company's emergence from bankruptcy at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport April 30,2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 757 sports new branding that will appear on more than 900 planes, at airports and on advertising.  (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images) 757
Barry Williams/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
ATLANTA - APRIL 30: A Boeing 757 with a new Delta Airlines logo sits on the tarmac following the company's emergence from bankruptcy at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport April 30,2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 757 sports new branding that will appear on more than 900 planes, at airports and on advertising. (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images) 757
Now playing
02:28
Why Delta airlines is resuming selling middle seats
Now playing
02:50
Grocery chain says 'hero pay' forcing them to close stores

Story highlights

NEW: Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he was close friends with both men

President Trump tweeted his condolences to the troopers' families

(CNN) —  

One was a veteran law enforcement officer with more than two decades as a Virginia state trooper. The other was a pilot who transferred to the state police aviation unit last month and was one day away from his 41st birthday.

Both Virginia State Police troopers died Saturday when their police helicopter crashed and burned in Charlottesville, as they patrolled near the site of clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters.

State police identified the victims as pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40. Both men died at the scene.

 Lt. H. Jay Cullen
Virginia State Police
Lt. H. Jay Cullen
Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates
Virginia State Police
Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates

Their helicopter was “assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation in Charlottesville,” according to a police statement.

The aircraft crashed in a wooded area near a residence just before 5 p.m. No one on the ground was injured, and officials are still investigating the cause of the crash.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he and the first lady considered both men their close friends. He said they were “deeply saddened” by the deaths.

“Jay has flown us across the commonwealth for more than three and a half years,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “Berke was devoted to our entire family as part of our Executive Protection Unit team for the past three years.

“This is a devastating loss for their families, the Virginia State Police, and the entire commonwealth,” McAuliffe said. “These heroes were a part of our family and we are simply heartbroken.”

President Donald Trump tweeted condolences to the troopers’ families earlier Saturday.

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

The helicopter went down close to where right-wing groups and counterprotesters converged Friday night and Saturday.

The “Unite the Right” rally included white nationalist and other far-right groups protesting Charlottesville’s plan to remove relics of its Confederate past, such as a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. More protesters gathered to rally against the right-wing demonstrators.

A car plowed into a group of the counterprotesters Saturday, killing a 32-year-old woman and leaving 19 others hurt. Police took a man into custody as the subject of a homicide investigation, Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said.

While the name of the victim had not been released Saturday night, police identified the suspect arrested in the car-ramming incident as James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio.

McAuliffe said at a news conference earlier in the day that three people had died, apparently a reference to the woman who died in the car crash and the two victims of the helicopter crash.

The governor, who had earlier declared a state of emergency, urged the right-wing groups to leave Charlottesville.

“Go home,” he said. “You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you.”