Chopper Crash Kills 2, Linked To White Nationalist Rally

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBSMiami/AP) — The deaths of two people in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville, Virginia, have been linked to a violent white nationalist rally earlier in the day, according to officials.

The Bell 407 helicopter crashed seven miles southwest of Charlottesville, the FAA confirmed to CBS News. There are two confirmed fatalities, the Virginia State Police posted on their Facebook page. Both killed were on board.

President Trump tweeted Saturday night his “deepest condolences” to the family and fellow police officers after the crash.

The crash happened just a few hours after a car plowed into a crowd of people protesting against the white nationalist rally. One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt.

The organizer of the rally that drew hundreds of white nationalists and other extremists to Charlottesville says he disavows the violence that eroded it.

Jason Kessler said in an interview Saturday evening that whoever drove a car into a group of counter-protesters “did the wrong thing.” He said he was saddened that people were hurt.

Kessler is a local blogger and activist who described the event as a pro-white rally. He planned it to protest the city’s decision to remove a Confederate monument.

He also criticized law enforcement’s response to the event, which was dispersed before speakers could take the stage.

He said they did a poor job controlling the chaos to allow free speech.

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