Sheriff releases Lippe's cause of death; says freezing rain may have contributed

Staff reports
Dr. Michael Lippe

Dr. Michael Lippe died instantly from a vast head injury due to impact, according to a report released this evening by Yates County Sheriff Ronald Spike.

Lippe, 56, the father of four from Mahwah, N.J., was killed when his small airplane crashed into a wooded area on a Barrington hillside Wednesday evening before 8 p.m. He was on his way to Penn Yan Airport from New Jersey with plans to work in the emergency department at Geneva General Hospital.

Yates County Coroner Dr. John Cooley and Pathologist Dr. William Dean examined Lippe's body Thursday at Penn Yan's Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital and determined the cause of death. Samples for toxicology examination were collected during the examination, says Spike.

Following the examination, Lippe's body was released to be flown to New Jersey for his funeral service, according to Spike, who says a recovery company from Dover, Dela. is expected to remove the plane's wreckage from the crash scene sometime Friday.

Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safey Board were on the scene all day today with Yates County Sheriff Deputies investigating the accident. No official determination of the accident's cause has been made, but Spike says, "Indications exist making the freezing rain and sleeting weather conditions at the time of the crash a possible contributing factor."

Dr. Michael Lippe, of Mahwah, N.J. died when this plane he was piloting crashed into a wooded area in Barrington on Dec. 22.