Man charged with DUI, manslaughter in crash that killed jogger
A memorial of running shoes and flowers steadily grew Tuesday on a road sign near the scene of a fatal accident Monday as mourners paid tribute to Margaret Menzies, who lost her life while jogging on Route 54 near Hanover Courthouse. Above, mourners prepare to add another pair of shoes to the memorial as tulips are planted on the roadway shoulder in the background.
Hanover authorities have charged a Mechanicsville man with driving under the influence in the fatal crash that killed the wife of one of Ashland’s most valued drunk driving enforcement officers.
Tuesday morning, Lt. Chris Whitley identified the deceased as Margaret Menzies, 34, of Ashland, who was jogging on E. Patrick Henry Road at the time of the accident near Hanover Courthouse. Margaret Menzies was the wife of Sgt. Scott Menzies of the Ashland Police Department, Chief Douglas Goodman Jr. confirmed in a statement Tuesday, calling her death an “immeasurable loss.”
“Yesterday, the Ashland Police Department suffered an immeasurable loss with the tragic death of Meg Menzies, wife of Sergeant Scott Menzies,” Goodman said. “Meg has equally been a part of our law enforcement family for nearly a decade and her presence in our midst, and especially that of her family, will be sorely missed.”
Goodman noted that with Margaret Menzies’ support, Sgt. Menzies had been a “steadfast catalyst for improving safety in our community.”
“Whether working late on DUI enforcement patrols or coming in on his day off to lead a public education program focusing on the dangers of drunk driving, Sgt. Menzies always had her unyielding support,” Goodman said. “To lose his wife in this manner is simply unfathomable.”
In a statement, released Monday Lt. Chris Whitley of the Hanover Sheriff’s Office said deputies had arrested Michael J. Carlson, 47, of the 10000 block of Studley Acres Lane in Mechanicsville, in connection with the fatal crash. Carlson was charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence. Carlson, an internist with the Bon Secours Richmond Health System, was arraigned Tuesday. He will return to court in April, court records show.
Monday, at approximately 8:15 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office responded to E. Patrick Henry Road and Hickory Hill Road for a report of a crash involving a pedestrian. Whitley said preliminary investigation indicates that a 2008 Toyota Sequoia was traveling west on E. Patrick Henry Road when it ran off the right side of the roadway while in a curve, striking Menzies. Hanover Fire-EMS transported Menzies to VCU Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, where she later died.
Whitley said crash team deputies continue their investigation into the incident and that the department “extends its deepest sympathy to the Menzies family as they attempt to deal with this tragic loss.”
Goodman said that in response to the many offers of assistance the department has received, donations can be made to the Ashland Police Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization established to help its members in times of need. Donations can be sent to the “Ashland Foundation” at 601 England Street, Ashland, VA 23005.