Chesterfield man charged in hit-and-run that killed off-duty Henrico officer faces more charges

Updated: Mar. 1, 2021 at 8:35 PM EST
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A Chesterfield man faces new charges in connection to his arrest following a hit-and-run that killed an off-duty police officer.

On Feb. 27, around 11 a.m. Henrico police responded to Greenwood Road at Winfrey Road for a reported hit-and-run involving a pedestrian.

Officials identified the pedestrian as Captain Donald L. Lambert, Jr., a 33-year veteran with the Henrico County Police Division. Police said Lambert, who served on the agency’s special operations group, was not on duty at the time of the crash.

Donald L. Lambert, Jr.
Donald L. Lambert, Jr.(Henrico Police Department)

However, shortly before that incident, police said another hit-and-run with an occupied vehicle occurred on Greenwood Road at Francis Road.

“The vehicle also struck a shed on private property causing damage, near Winfrey Road and Woodman Road,” said HCPD spokesman Lt. Matt Pecka.

Justin Thomas Regensburg, 30, of Chesterfield, was charged with two felony hit-and-runs and was taken into custody on Sunday during a traffic stop in King William County.

“When somebody is injured as a result of your driving, you have not only the duty to remain at the scene and provide your information, you also have the duty to provide whatever medical assistance you can including transporting that person to the hospital,” said NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin.

Henrico police said Regensburg did not do that. Instead, officers said the 30-year-old drove away in a tow truck from the two hit-and-runs on Greenwood Road.

“Basically, you’re asking if this was this just a pure accident and the driver panicked, or was this a situation where the accident occurred, but the driver, aware he may be in legal jeopardy for other reasons, deliberately takes off,” Benjamin said.

That is all part of the ongoing investigation.

Based on social media accounts, it appears Regensburg owns his own mechanic shop in Midlothian. However, his business did not appear on any of the county or state license searches.

Henrico police have not released what company the tow truck belonged to which Regensburg was allegedly driving.

Meanwhile, the King William County Sheriff’s Office released new details Monday regarding Regensburg’s arrest.

According to Sheriff Jeff Walton, Henrico police alerted the agency about Regensburg’s possible location in the County.

On Feb. 28, King William deputies and Henrico officers saw Regensburg leave a home on Oxford Lane heading east on Richmond-Tappahannock Highway.

“Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle at which time the driver sped off eastbound,” Walton said. “Deputies were able to stop the vehicle just before Aylett on Richmond-Tappahannock Hwy.”

When he was stopped, the authorities said he was driving on a suspended or revoked license, and it’s not the first time.

Virginia court records show Regensburg has had at least six of those charges within the last 10 years. The most recent charge available on the court website was out of Hanover in 2016 showing his license was suspended for six months.

Regensburg was charged with additional charges in King William County for felony eluding, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and driving on a suspended/revoked license.

“The vehicle driven by Regensburg at the time of his arrest belonged to a family member who did not give him permission to take,” Walton said.

“They’re not only additional charges, but they’re also factors that will be considered in how his case will be resolved,” Benjamin said. “They aggravate the situation in other words.”

Regensburg was transported to Henrico County Jail on Sunday and is being held without bond.

“We are deeply saddened at the tragic and untimely loss of Capt. Lambert,” said Henrico County Chief of Police, Eric English. “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.”

English described Lambert as a committed, genuine individual who cared about people.

“One of the things we had a conversation about is how can we prevent traffic crashes. That was one of our goals,” English said. “How ironic that he becomes the victim, so it’s tough.”

As the head of the special operations group, which entails the emergency response team, K-9 units and the civil disturbance team, English said Lambert was always the person to go to with legal questions.

“We are a strong family as the Henrico Police Division and it’s something we’ll get through,” English said. “Continue your support, and prayers for the family members and friends are certainly appreciated.”

Police responded to Greenwood and Winfrey roads at 11 a.m. on Feb. 27 for reports of a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian. As investigators remained in the area, Greenwood Road was closed.

Police on Saturday said aerial support drones, planes, helicopters and canine units were used to locate the driver.

First responders pronounced Lambert dead at the scene following the crash.

Anyone with information is asked to call Henrico Police at 804-501-5000. Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers by calling 804-780-1000 or using the P3Tips app.

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