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Wilton Manors mayor died of brain aneurysm

Community leader who fought for LGBTQ representation dies unexpectedly

WILTON MANORS, Fla. – The 41-year-old mayor of Wilton Manors died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm on Tuesday night, the Medical Examiner’s Office determined. Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies did not suspect foul play and are investigating the death as a medical incident.

Justin Flippen, who was elected mayor of the city of about 12,000 in 2018, was on his way to a city commission meeting, but he never made it. The city commission meeting was abruptly adjourned when commissioners learned Flippen was being rushed to the hospital.

Wilton Manors Police Chief Paul O’Connell said Wednesday the agency received the medical assistance request about 6:50 p.m. to the 2200 block of North Andrews Avenue, and officers found Flippen unresponsive in his car.

The Medical Examiner’s Office concluded he died of a bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel in the brain. If the pressure is too high, the blood and oxygen supply to the brain may be disrupted and cause loss of consciousness or death.

Tom Green, a Wilton Manors commissioner and vice mayor, said the city was organizing a celebration of life to honor Flippen. Flippen was a member of the Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale.

There were flowers at the City Hall dais. City workers lowered flags to half staff near Wilton Manors City Hall and there was a candlelight vigil late Tuesday night.

Flippen served as a city commissioner in Wilton Manors after he was elected in 2008. A decade later, Wilton Manors became the first city in Florida to have an all-LGBTQ city commission.

The graduate of Coconut Creek High School, Broward College, Florida Atlantic University and the University of Florida served as an intern for U.S. Senator Bob Graham.

Flippen also served as president of the Dolphin Democrats, a political club that describes him as “a fierce champion for the LGBTQ community and a proud Democrat.”

Rep. Ted Deutch grieved on Twitter.

“Like all of us who knew him, I am devastated by the news of Justin Flippen’s passing,” Deutch wrote. “Justin was a fine public servant, a wonderful person, and a dear friend. My thoughts are with his family as we all mourn this tragic loss. May Justin rest in peace.”

ON THE WEB: CDC on strokes

Unruptured aneurysm symptoms

  • Pain above and behind one eye
  • A dilated pupil
  • Change in vision or double vision
  • Numbness of one side of the face

Ruptured aneurysm symptoms

  • Sudden, extremely severe headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seizure
  • A drooping eyelid
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion

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