Deputy McCullah was assigned to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Norwalk Station at the time of his death. Deputy McCullah was an Observer in an on-duty helicopter with pilot Robert Kenneth Schnur. Deputy Schnur, who was assigned to the Department’s Aero Bureau, was flying low over the Whittier Hills when the helicopter hit some abandoned telephone wires strung across a canyon and crashed. The craft was not reported missing until Deputy Schnur’s wife called the next morning. A search was launched and the wreckage discovered at 7:30 a.m. Autopsies revealed both men died on impact. Deputy Schnur left a wife and three children; Deputy McCullah was set to marry that weekend.