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Trooper died from medical condition, not Henry Co. crash

By Web Staff, WDBJ7, news@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jan 11 2014 11:39:39 AM EST
Updated On: Jan 13 2014 05:22:40 PM EST

Visitation for fallen State Police Sergeant Michael Phillippi is Monday night.

HENRY COUNTY, Va. -

The Virginia State Trooper who died while on duty Saturday in Henry County died from a medical condition and not injuries sustained in a crash, according to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke.

Sergeant Michael Phillippi was found around 2:20 a.m. Saturday morning in the area of Chatham Road/Route 57, just west of Pennrail Road. Phillippi’s cruiser crashed into a highway sign. The car had little damage.

An autopsy revealed that Phillippi died of a medical condition and not from injuries sustained in a crash. Because of HIPPA laws, Virginia State Police can not reveal the type of medical condition that Phillippi died from.

Phillippi’s funeral is at 11 a.m. Tuesday at McCabe Memorial Baptist Church in Martinsville.

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The visitation for Virginia State Police Sergeant Michael Phillippi is from 6-8 p.m. Monday at McCabe Memorial Baptist Church in Martinsville.

His funeral is set for Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at the same location. A reception and luncheon will follow.

Phillippi died early Saturday morning after a crash in Henry County. He is the 60th trooper to die in the line of duty. Phillippi was a department supervisor.

“Highly respected for his leadership, strong character, integrity, and dedication to mission, Sergeant Phillippi was totally loyal to the troopers he supervised and mentored, and the community he served,” Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, wrote in a news release. “His death is being felt across the Commonwealth and especially within the Henry County-Martinsville region, where he has spent the past several decades on patrol.”

Phillippi spent the majority of his 42 years as a state trooper in the Salem Division's Area 42 Office, which includes the City of Martinsville, Henry County, and Patrick County.

Phillippi was born in Gate City. He is survived by his wife.

Several law enforcement officers from across the state are expected to attend the funeral. Because of the anticipated high turnout, Martinsville residents are asked to avoid the area near McCabe Memorial Baptist Church during the funeral because of traffic.

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The Virginia State Police are investigating an officer-involved accident.

When rescue crews got the scene on Route 9728 and Penrail Lane, they found a Chevrolet Impala that has crashed into a road sign.

Sgt. J. Michael Phillippi was inside the vehicle.

He was transported to Martinsville Memorial Hospital where he died.

Sgt. Phillippi was working the overnight shift for the Salem Division at the time of his death.