Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania State Trooper Donald Brackett died in the line of duty on Saturday after suffering an apparent medical episode.
State troopers from nearby districts responded to the area of mile marker 351.9 on Interstate 276 at approximately 11:30 a.m., after the veteran trooper failed to respond to radio transmissions, Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Acting Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick said in a press release.
Trooper Brackett, 58, “was found unresponsive outside his patrol vehicle,” and appeared to have suffered a “medical episode,” Lt. Col. Evanchick said.
He was rushed to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital in Philadelphia, but doctors were not able to revive him.
"All personnel of the Pennsylvania State Police are deeply affected by this loss," Lt. Col. Evanchick said. "Our thoughts are with Trooper Brackett's family and friends as they mourn his sudden passing."
Trooper Brackett joined PSP in October of 2001, and served in Media and Trevose prior to his most recent assignment in King of Prussia.
He was also a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, according to his obituary.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf praised Trooper Brackett’s “life of service,” and said that the state was “indebted to him and his family for their sacrifice,” the Associated Press reported.
He ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of the fallen trooper.
Pennsylvania State Troopers Association President David Kennedy said that Trooper Brackett “will forever be remembered as an extraordinary individual and a hero,” WHP reported.
“Trooper Brackett’s oath was to serve and protect those in the commonwealth, and he died in pursuit of that mission,” he continued. “We will never forget his sacrifice.”
Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge President Les Neri offered his condolences in a statement to The Patriot-News.
“Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends at this difficult time. We will never forget his service, his dedication and his sacrifice,” Neri said. “We join with the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association in honoring Trooper Brackett’s memory.”
Trooper Brackett leaves behind his wife, Marta, and his daughters, Gabriella and Brianna, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his father, Mickey, and his siblings.
Trooper Brackett will be laid to rest on May 28.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pennsylvania State Trooper Donald Brackett, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.