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2 police personnel dead after Virginia State Police helicopter crashes near Charlottesville

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. — Two police personnel were killed after a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed Saturday afternoon near Charlottesville, according to WJLA.

Virginia State Police said Saturday that pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates died at the scene.

The crash happened around 5 p.m. in a wooded area on Old Farm Road, The Daily Progress reports.

Neighbors say the helicopter hovered low before landing in the woods.

One person was killed Saturday and 19 were hurt when a speeding car slammed into another car that was navigating through a throng of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, where a “Unite the Right” rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups was to take place.

Virginia’s governor had earlier declared an emergency, and police worked to disperse hundreds of protesters in the college town after clashes broke out ahead of the rally’s scheduled noon start.

Saturday’s rally was the latest event drawing white nationalists and right-wing activists from across the country to this Democratic-voting town — a development precipitated by the city’s decision to remove symbols of its Confederate past.

Additional details about the crash are unknown.