AP NEWS

Virginia’s top mental health official dies after crash

August 2, 2019
FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, file photo, Dr. Hughes Melton, commissioner, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, speaks during a meeting in Richmond, Va. Melton, the top mental health official in Virginia, has died from injuries he suffered in a three-car crash, Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in which an 18-year-old woman was killed. (Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, file photo, Dr. Hughes Melton, commissioner, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, speaks during a meeting in Richmond, Va. Melton, the top mental health official in Virginia, has died from injuries he suffered in a three-car crash, Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in which an 18-year-old woman was killed. (Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s top mental health official has died from injuries he suffered in a three-car crash in which an 18-year-old woman was killed.

Gov. Ralph Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said on Friday that the family of 52-year-old Dr. S. Hughes Melton notified the governor of his death. Melton was commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Northam said, “Not only was Dr. Melton a devoted public servant and physician, I considered him a friend.”

Virginia State Police say Melton’s car on Wednesday bumped a car in front of him on State Route 254, crossed the center line and collided head-on with a car driven by Hailey Green of Staunton. Green was pronounced dead at the scene.

State police said the driver of the third car wasn’t injured.