NewsLocal News


Remembering Lt. Cullen: ‘Jay will never be forgotten’

Posted at 4:15 PM, Aug 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-19 16:25:29-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Virginia State Police Lt. H. Jay Cullen was laid to rest Saturday following a public memorial service at Southside Church of the Nazarene on Courthouse Road in Chesterfield County.

"This is a sad day in the Commonwealth," Gov. Terry McAuliffe told the crowd of hundreds. "We grieve today Jay Cullen for the family, parents, in-laws, cousins and brother."

Lt. Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates were killed last Saturday when a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed into a wooded area near a home on Old Farm Road outside Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Virginia State Police helicopter was flying over the Charlottesville-area assisting with public safety at the “Unite the Right” rally.

Public memorial for Lt. Jay Cullen.

Public memorial for Lt. Jay Cullen.

"I would fly anytime, anywhere, in any condition, in any aircraft that Jay Cullen was at the helm of," VSP Superintendent Col. Steven Flaherty said.

Lt. Cullen graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in May 1994 as a member of the 90th Basic Session. He first joined the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit in 1999.

Cullen is survived by his wife and two sons.

"If anyone knew Jay and Karen, their relationship was built on true love and so much laughter," Cullen's friend, Will Payne said. "It breaks my heart they lost happily every after."

Payne said they both dealt with tragedy before when their friend died in a crash.

"Around 18 years ago our best friend, John, was lost in an aviation tragedy not unlike Jay’s [crash]," Payne remembered.

"Jay will never be forgotten and I'm so incredibly proud of the legacy he leaves behind," Cullen's brother, Glenn Cullen, said.

Helicopters fly over mourners.

Helicopters fly over mourners.

Nine helicopters flew over the crowd of family and law enforcement that traveled from across the nation to support the family. The funeral ended with an end of call heard from a cruiser's radio.

"Richmond unit 71, Richmond unit 71, unit 71 no contact. End of watch August 12, 2017. Rest in peace, Jay. We will miss you," the dispatcher said.

The burial was a private graveside service.

Law enforcement honor Lt. Cullen.

Law enforcement honor Lt. Cullen.