Update on head-on fatal crash: Medical emergency may be cause
A medical emergency may have precipitated the head-on collision that took the life of a Staunton teen in a three-vehicle crash on Route 254 near Kiddsville Road in Augusta County on Wednesday.
Hailey D. Green, 18, died at the scene. Green was a 2019 Fort Defiance High School graduate who was set to enroll at Eastern Mennonite University in the fall.
Green was driving westbound on Route 254 when her 2003 Toyota Solara was struck head on by a 2018 Hyundai Tucson driven by Dr. S. Hughes Melton, 52, of Bristol, Va.
Melton is the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. According to a bio for Melton on the DBHD website, Melton is a Washington and Lee University graduate, with a medical degree and MBA from UVA, and was appointed to his current post in 2018.
The accident occurred shortly before 1 p.m. on July 31, according to Virginia State Police. Melton was traveling east when his vehicle struck the rear bumper of a 2018 Subaru CrossTrek driven by Jean M. Scheeren, 55, of Waynesboro, who was not injured in the crash.
Melton’s vehicle then crossed the center line and struck Green’s vehicle head-on.
Melton was transported to UVA Medical Center for treatment of life-threatening injuries. Early reports had suggested that Melton was attempting to pass the vehicle ahead of him before the head-on crash, but the investigation is now revealing that Melton may have suffered a medical emergency, which is being investigated as a factor in the crash.
Story by Chris Graham