CHARLES CITY, VA (WWBT) – We're learning more about the Charles City County Sheriff's Deputy killed this morning. 36-year-old, Michael Walizer, died when his squad car hit a tree on Route 5.
The Charles City County Sheriff says Deputy Michael Walizer was called out around 2:00 a.m. to back up another Deputy chasing a speeder.
Walizer crashed about a quarter of a mile from the Sheriff's Office and died on scene.
A giant stuffed animal, flowers and some balloons now mark the spot where Deputy Michael Walizer lost his life early Saturday morning.
His sudden death comes as a shock for many people in this small community.
Charles Haupt runs Haupt's Country Store about a mile from where the crash happened.
He says Walizer stopped by to get something right as he was closing Friday night, just a few hours before his death.
"In our little county, we don't have these awful things happen," he said. "We read about it. When it comes home, it's always hard."
There are tire marks that show where the squad car left the roadway and started driving through the grass, before eventually crossing back over the highway, coming to a sudden stop at a tree.
There's still broken glass lodged in the tree Walizer hit.
Right now investigators are trying to figure out why Walizer may have lost control of his cruiser.
Charles City County Sheriff, Javier Smith, was shaken up as he addressed the media Saturday afternoon.
"This is a day of great sorrow for our Sheriff's Office," he said.
The Sheriff says Walizer was an 11 year veteran deputy that leaves behind a wife and four young children. A black band now covers each deputy's badge.
"He had a free spirit that loved life. He was a kidster in our office but he truly loved serving the people here," said Smith.
For Charles and the other people that knew Walizer, they say this won't be easy to get over.
"He's going to be very, very missed," Haupt said.
There are only nine deputies in the Charles City County Sheriff's Office.
Each of them is now on bereavement leave for now, the New Kent County Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police will be fielding all their calls.
Funeral arrangements haven't been made yet.
The Sheriff says those details will be announced on the Charles City County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.