HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — More than eight months after the tragic death of Captain Don Lambert, a 33-year veteran of the Henrico County Police Department (HCPD), the community came together Wednesday to unveil a new way to keep his legacy alive.
Lambert’s family was in attendance for a special ceremony held in the afternoon to reveal a street sign named for their loved one. Located off of Winfrey Road in Glen Allen, once constructed, Henrico County Board of Supervisors Chair and Brookland District Representative Daniel Schmitt said that the road will serve as a community connector to Glover Park.
“On your way here, and where you sit, you may have noticed that construction is underway on the Woodman Road extension. You also might be aware that we are not too far from Glover Park, one of the county’s premier locations for sports tournaments and other recreational activities,” Schmitt said. “Well, we need a way to get folks from this Woodman Road extension into Glover Park and all the great activities that are taking place there.”
Not far from where Schmitt stood, he said there are plans to build a connector road to bridge the community to those recreational amenities.
“[It will be] a road that will welcome our residents and visitors to common ground, a place for gathering, a place for fellowship, a place that is open and inclusive for all, a place that Don would’ve be proud of, as well as would’ve been seen at regularly,” Schmitt said. “In his honor, honor of our colleague, we’re going to name this road Lambert Way.”
Lambert’s family helped remove the tarp that was covering the sign to reveal a green and white street sign underneath, which read “Lambert Way.” Lambert’s wife, Becky Simulcik, was also presented with a framed version of the sign to keep.
“We miss him terribly,” she said. “I miss him every second, and this is such a beautiful, fitting, meaningful way to keep his legacy alive forever.”
Captain Lambert was killed in February while off-duty and out for a run. According to authorities, just after 11 a.m. on Feb. 27, HCPD responded to Greenwood Road at Winfrey Road for reports of a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian. That pedestrian, Lambert, was pronounced deceased on scene by first responders.
“We are deeply saddened at the tragic and untimely loss of Capt. Lambert,” Henrico County Chief of Police Eric English said at the time. “He was a selfless leader, mentor and friend who served our community with pride and dedication for nearly 34 years. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, colleagues and friends.”
There were several community members, family members, local leaders and fellow law enforcement officers at Wednesday’s ceremony, including Lieutenant Colonel Mike Palkovics, who, as the Assistant Chief of Police for Support Operations, served alongside Capt. Lambert.
“Don was committed to making our roadways safer for everyone, not only in Henrico County. He was known across the region, the state, the country for his efforts and knowledge on crash investigations and traffic-related matters,” Palkovics said. “He was a leader, a mentor, an innovator in traffic safety, and took a multi-pronged approach to delivering the best services possible.”
According to Schmitt, Lambert Way should be completed by mid-2023.
“I’m just so grateful for the love and support that we received while Don was here and the love and support that we’ve continued to receive since he’s been gone,” Simulcik said. “Everybody matters.”