Virginia’s top mental health official dies after crash

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

Gov. Ralph Northam’s office issued a statement on Friday saying 52-year-old Dr. S. Hughes Melton had died. Melton was commissioner of the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Northam said in a statement that “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.

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