The driver who hit and killed a Henrico County police captain while he was running off-duty and then fled the scene has pleaded guilty.
Donald L. Lambert Jr., 55, was out jogging along Greenwood Road, not far from his home, the morning of Feb. 27 when he was struck by a “wrecker” or tow truck driven by Justin Thomas Regensburg.
Regensburg, 31, of Chesterfield County, entered a guilty plea to felony homicide and hit-and-run in Henrico Circuit Court on Tuesday. In exchange for his plea, three other charges were dropped.
There was no agreement on sentencing as part of the plea, which means a judge will sentence Regensburg. A sentencing hearing was set for January 2022.
Felony homicide is the accidental killing of another “contrary to the intention of the parties,” according to the state code, and carries a punishment of between 5 and 40 years in prison.
Hit-and-run is the layman’s wording for a statue that requires a driver to stop in the event of a vehicle crash where injury or damage occurs. A violation of that law is considered a class 5 felony, which is punishable up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
The crime scene stretched about a mile along Greenwood Road. An occupied vehicle was struck first, at the intersection with Francis Road, just north of where Greenwood crosses under Interstate 295. No one was injured there, police have said.
Lambert was hit between Greenwood Glen Drive and Winfrey Road. That stretch of road was under construction and had no shoulder at the time. The wrecker crashed into a shed between Winfrey and Woodman roads and came to a stop. Regensburg then fled on foot.
The next day, he was arrested in King William County following a brief chase along the Richmond-Tappahannock Highway. He faces a charge of eluding police there.
Lambert was a 33-year veteran of the Henrico Division of Police, and directed its special operations group at the time of his death. He left behind a wife as well as two sons and two stepdaughters, all of whom are grown.