"This is a staggering misfortune for their families, the Virginia State Police, and the whole ward", McAuliffe said.
The National Transportation Safety Board also is investigating the helicopter crash.
Two Virginia state policemen were killed on Saturday (August 12) when a helicopter in which they were riding crashed after assisting in efforts to quell clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville.
Bates had just joined the aviation unit in July - "a welcome addition", Flaherty said, "after a distinguished assignment as a special agent with our Bureau of Criminal Investigation".
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Ambulances quickly arrived at the scene of the auto ramming, which a witness told AFP was "intentional" - saying one girl got "tore up" after the vehicle "backed up and they hit again".
In a statement published late Saturday night, McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy McAuliffe, said Cullen and Bates' deaths were a truly "devastating loss".
Without directly mentioning the Charlottesville incident, the US President Donald Trump on Saturday condemned the hate and violence after the state of Virginia declared the emergency.
Lieutenant Cullen graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in May 1994 as a member of the 90 Basic Session. The other was a pilot who had just transferred to the state police aviation last month and was one day away from celebrating his 41st birthday.
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"Jay was the greatest son a person could ever have, a great father to his two sons, a loving husband to his wife, Karen, and he was doing something that he loved", the trooper's father, Henry Cullen, told The Post.
In 2004, he graduated from the state police academy as a member of the 107th Basic Session.
"Trooper Bates was my younger brother and I am eternally grateful for his service and sacrifice", Bates's brother, Craig Bates, wrote on Twitter.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Jay and Berke, both of whom were our close friends and trusted members of our team", the governor said. Jay has flown us across the Commonwealth for more than three and a half years. Berke was part of my executive protection unit. Our hearts go out to their wives and children, and we stand by to support them during this hard time.
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Please stay with WDBJ7 for this is a developing story.