HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)—A heartbroken running community gathered Monday night to remember a mother of three young children who was hit and killed by a drunk driver that morning while jogging.
Meg Menzies, wife of Sergeant Scott Menzies of the Ashland Police Department, was an avid runner. Her friends say she died doing what she loved.
On Monday night, those in Menzies' running club, the Richmond Road Runners, held an emotional meeting as they honored their friend.
"We all like a big family," said Doug Fernandez, a friend Menzies ran with. "Total disbelief about it; it's just like it's not real. It's a total shock."
For years Menzies has spent hours every week running with the Richmond Road Runners. The mother of three was preparing for the Boston Marathon in April; that's why she was out running on East Patrick Henry Road in Ashland Monday morning, when she was hit by a car.
"Difficult [to] accept … don't know how we gonna get over this," Fernandez said.
Police say the driver, 47-year-old Dr. Michael Carlson, was drunk and ran off the road. Menzies was rushed to VCU Medical Center, where she died, leaving behind a husband, two sons and a daughter.
Carlson specializes in internal medicine at Bon Secours Richmond Health System. He is charged with DUI and involuntary manslaughter, and has been granted a $25,000 secured bond.
"She was a very happy, outgoing runner, the nicest person you could ever meet," Fernandez said. "Three little children, she loved them to death."
Menzies is a woman who will be missed by many, who say she was the nicest person alive, could do no wrong and adored her children, proudly proclaiming on Facebook that she's a full-time mommy.
"Keep her in your prayers, and her family, her children," Fernandez said. "She'll be missed sorely, for sure."
The Ashland Police Department is also mourning Menzies' death. Chief Doug Goodman said in a statement on Tuesday, "Yesterday, the Ashland Police Department suffered an immeasurable loss with the tragic death of Meg Menzies, wife of Sergeant Scott Menzies.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.
With her support, Sergeant Menzies has 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. To lose his wife in this manner is simply unfathomable.
The Ashland Police family is stunned and deeply saddened by this tragic and senseless loss. In response to the many offers of assistance, 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.
We would like to thank Hanover Fire/EMS, the staff at VCU's Emergency Room, the Hanover County Sheriff's Office and the Hanover County Commonwealth Attorney's Office for their assistance."
Runners from all over the globe will gather to run in honor of Menzies' life on Saturday, Jan. 18. A public Facebook page called Meg's Miles has been created to raise awareness about the event. A posting on the page reads, "Meg Cross Menzies was tragically killed by a drunk driver while out for her morning run on January 13, 2014.
As an avid runner, member of the Richmond Road Runners Club, and Boston marathoner, she was a member of the running family nationwide. In her honor, our hope is to raise awareness of drunk driving, texting and driving, and overall safety of runners and cyclists everywhere.
This Saturday, January 18, 2014, no matter what your distance, no matter where you live, run for Meg. Take in the fresh air, be aware of your surroundings, keep your headphones on low, feel the heaviness in your lungs, the soreness in your legs, and be grateful for it--for all of it. The sweat, the pain, the wind, the cold…everything. Be grateful for that moment.
Feel free to post pictures of yourself pre-run or post-run, post your distance, post your thoughts, prayers, condolences with the hashtag #megsmiles. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Let all runners unite together and remember the loss of a beautiful spirit. It's not a coincidence the hashtag reads either 'Meg's Miles' or 'Meg Smiles.' She will be smiling on all of us forevermore."
As of 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, more than 8,500 people said they planned to run for Menzies on Saturday.
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