Lieutenant Pilot Henry John "Jay" Cullen, III

Lieutenant Pilot Henry John "Jay" Cullen, III

Virginia State Police, Virginia

End of Watch Saturday, August 12, 2017

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Henry John "Jay" Cullen, III

Lieutenant Pilot Jay Cullen and Trooper Pilot Berke Bates were killed when their Bell 407 helicopter crashed into a wooded area in a residential neighborhood on Old Farm Road in Albemarle County, Virginia.

They were in the area to monitor civil unrest that was occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a large protest. The helicopter had just taken off to monitor the Virginia governor's motorcade after he arrived in the area to assess the situation. The helicopter experienced some sort of issue before crashing into the trees and becoming engulfed in flames.

Trooper Bates and Lieutenant Cullen were killed in the crash.

Lieutenant Cullen had served with the Virginia State Police for 23 years and was assigned as the commander of the Aviation Unit. He is survived by his wife and two sons.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 23 years
  • Badge 71

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

civil unrest

Most Recent Reflection

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To the family and friends of Lieutenant Cullen, may the peace and love of God surround you.

To Mrs. Cullen, I had the opportunity to meet you recently while you were at UVA’s graduation. You briefly shared about your husband’s passing. It is my prayer that your memories of him will bring a smile to your face. God is the great Comforter, may He fill your heart with joy each day.

May God’s perfect peace and love fill you always!

Your golf cart driver ;-)


May 19, 2024

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