Virginia troopers killed in Charlottesville helicopter crash have Tennessee ties

Lt. H. Jay Cullen (L) and Trooper Berke M.M. Bates (R) (AP Photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (WATE/WKRN) – Both men killed in the helicopter crash connected to the violent Charlottesville rally have East Tennessee ties.

The pilot, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, is the son of a Loudon county commissioner. The passenger, Berke Bates, 40, played hockey at the University of Tennessee with his brother, Craig Bates.

Bates also has family living in Knoxville.

PHOTOS: Violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia 

The men died shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday when their Virginia State Police helicopter crashed as they were patrolling the skies during the violent protests as people opposed the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by state police, the FAA and NTSB. There is no indication of foul play being a factor in the crash.

Click here for complete coverage on the Charlottesville protests.