Phil De La Rue was born on February 5, 1934, and originated from Chatham. He was appointed to the OPP on April 1, 1955, and travelled a great distance for his first posting in the northeastern part of the province.

He moved from his initial posting in South Porcupine to Matheson where he met and later became engaged to the daughter of a prominent local family. The wedding was to have been on June 15, 1957. De La Rue’s widowed mother had travelled north in early May to meet her son’s future in-laws.

On May 25, 1957, PC De La Rue left the Matheson office to patrol Highway 11 from his home base to just south of Iroquois Falls. A few minutes later, just north of Matheson, he was proceeding at a high rate of speed. The only reason the officer would have been traveling fast, was in pursuit of a speeder. The fast-moving cruiser struck a frost boil in the road. The sudden change to its momentum caused the police car to sideswipe an oncoming pickup truck, bounce a bit and then roll over, finally veering off across the highway and into a ditch.

The constable was trapped inside the car for a time and when released, although conscious, could give no coherent account of the mishap. Despite a desperate effort, a three-hour battle by hospital staff to save his life, Constable De La Rue died of his injuries. Beside him to the end was his fiancée.

His memorial service was held at the same church he was to be married in three weeks later.

PC De La Rue was survived by his mother.