Bill advances to name bridge after Trooper-Pilot killed responding to Charlottesville unrest

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Transportation advanced a bill that seeks to name a bridge in New Kent County after Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.

Bates was one of two members of Virginia State Police killed in August 2017.

He and Lt. H. Jay Cullen were responding to civil unrest in Charlottesville when their helicopter crashed.

Sen. Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg) introduced the legislation. It would name the bridge on I-64 at Exit 205 after Bates.

Bates’ wife, Amanda, was there as lawmakers voted in favor of the proposal Wednesday afternoon.

She called him the best husband, father, son, friend and brother anyone could ask for.

“As much as Berke would hate the attention associated with this process, he would be honored and humbled to know everyone who travels the highways of the commonwealth will see his name and know the sacrifice he gave,” she told the state senators.

She shared that her husband knew he wanted to join VSP when he was just 8 years old.

“He was proud of everything he did with the Virginia State Police, however nothing made him more proud than the day he became Trooper-Pilot,” she said.

Bates was part of former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s executive protection unit.

Senators voted unanimously to advance the bill.

Committee chairman Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson), a retired Senior Trooper, took a moment to address Bates’ wife.

“I just want to humbly say thank you because I know that sacrifice was great for you,” said Carrico. “This is a small token, I believe, that we can do in that sacrifice.”

Find 8News on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to