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Hanover doctor granted bond after crash kills runner, mother

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – The man accused of hitting and killing a woman out on her morning run was granted a $25,000 secured bond during a Tuesday morning hearing. Dr. Michael J. Carlson, 47, appeared in court via video feed.

Under the judge’s order, Carlson is not allowed to drink alcohol and must wear a SCRAM bracelet. The bracelet lets the court know if a person was drinking alcohol.

Michael J. Carlson (PHOTO: Hanover County Sheriff's Office)

Michael J. Carlson (PHOTO: Hanover County Sheriff’s Office)

Carlson is charged with involuntary manslaughter and D.U.I. after investigators said he hit and killed Meg Menzies, 34, while she ran along E. Patrick Henry Rd. Monday morning.

During the hearing, Carlson’s lawyers argued the doctor was not a flight risk due to his strong community ties and current health situation.

Carlson was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2006 and currently undergoes chemotherapy, according to his lawyers. He has custody of his three children and cares for his fiance’s two children.

Carlson’s lawyer argued the doctor had no history of substance abuse, nor prior criminal history. He said Carlson stopped at the accident scene, called 911 and attempted to help Menzies.

Meg Menzies, 34, of Ashland.

Meg Menzies, 34, of Ashland.

Meg Menzies was a mother of three and married to Ashland Police Department Sergeant Scott Menzies.

“Meg has equally been a part of our law enforcement family for nearly a decade and her presence in our midst, and especially that of her family, will be sorely missed,” Ashland Police Chief Doug Goodman wrote in a statement. “With her support, Sergeant Menzies has been a steadfast catalyst for improving safety in our community. Whether working late on DUI enforcement patrols or coming in on his day off to lead a public education program focusing on the dangers of drunk driving, Sgt. Menzies always had her unyielding support. To lose his wife in this manner is simply unfathomable.”

Hundreds have responded to a Facebook invitation to run in honor of Meg Menzies.

Hundreds have responded to a Facebook invitation to run in honor of Meg Menzies.

Nearly 2,000 people have responded to a Facebook invitation to run Saturday in honor of Meg.

“As an avid runner, member of the Richmond Road Runners Club, and Boston marathoner, she was a member of the running family nationwide. In her honor, our hope is to raise awareness of drunk driving, texting and driving, and overall safety of runners and cyclists everywhere,” a message on the Meg’s Miles Facebook page read.

The page encouraged runners to tweet, Instagram and post running photos using the hashtag #megsmiles.

Carlson is employed by Bon Secours hospital system at the Theresa Thomas Medical Center in Ashland as an internist, a Bon Secours spokeswoman confirmed.

He is due back in court April 2.

45 comments

    • Walter Bridges

      I’m guessing, but I think he probably got very drunk the night before, slept, and then got up and assumed he was sober enough to drive. To be at .11 at 8am he would have had to wake up at 7, drink three units of alcohol at least, and then get into the car. Or he was wearing off alcohol from the night before.

      When people say “I’m SO hungover” what they really mean, even though they don’t realize it, is that they are still drunk from consuming so much alcohol the night before. They are wobbly, dehydrated, and have a hard time focusing. The full “hangover” isn’t in effect yet because their body is still converting the alcohol byproducts into acetate, which is what gives drunks that nail polish remover smell.

  • jackburton77

    So unfortunate.

    Also unfortunate that people are starting to vilify the Dr. before the facts come to light.

    Seemingly this is already starting down the Eli Webb path and there’s no reason for that either.

    Everyone needs to concentrate on helping that community heal.

    What the guy probably did was stupid and he’ll pay the price.

    • 617

      Before the facts come to light? He was drinking. He killed a runner with his car. That last “fact” is the only one you need.

      15 years, no less.

      • jackburton77

        I haven’t seen anything about his BAC levels..just that there was a possible contribution by alcohol. To get a DUI your blood levels have to be at certain markers…you know this right? That fact hasn’t come out.

        Also, TWO other people have died on that road. A lady on a scooter and a young child.

        Ever stop and think there could be other factors or do you want to keep shooting from the hip?

    • sw

      Are you actually reading the same story I am? He was charged with DUI which means his BAC made him legally drunk. End of story. That is all the facts anyone needs. If something in the road caused him to lose control it was made worse by him being drunk behind the wheel. You can paint this any way you want but the truth is this man chose to drive drunk and killed someone. The whole story coming out about his illness is to make him sympathetic to any jury that will be chosen. Being ill is not a get out of jail free card.

      • sw

        This man was drunk on his way to work at 8:30 am. His BAC was .11 so how’s that for being drunk jackburton?? You keep defending this guy while 3 children have to grow up without their mother. He made a conscience choice to get behind the wheel of a car drunk and heading to work. Who in their right mind wants a drunk doctor treating them?

  • howard

    he will get probation at worst.Has a lot of health problems yet was out getting drunk and driving.He surely wasn’t taking care of those children that night so to make it a point for bond is just a good lawyer move,nothing else.Did he take care of a sick grandma also?gimme a break.Anyway history has shown he will get a slap on the hand and be out while this mothers children now don’t have a mother to take care of them.@jackburton are you a lawyer maybe or just been there?

    • Romaine Cheney

      Linda,

      The fact that he lost a wife is what makes this worse to me. He knows the risks and took them anyway. Is it not lost on anyone that he was likely on his way to work, you know, to treat patients like yourself… DRUNK!!!!

      I know the family of Meg and they are going through hell. Something this man apparently knows all too well and is now the CAUSE of another husband/father going through the same hell.

      Sorry, his having gone through it makes it worse in my eyes. His having been through it before does not make me pity him.

  • jackburton77

    Just a resonable citizen who wants to let our system work this out…it’s obvious that a bunch of hothead civilians would shoot first and ask questions later.

    Really responsible.

    • sw

      @jack you are defending this man way too much to be just a normal citizen. Either he is a friend of yours which friend or not you should not make excuses for him but there is no defense for a BAC of .11 at 8:15 am. and please do not insult my intelligence by saying it was that six pack the night before.

  • Friend of Bill W

    in no way condoning his actions. He may have been drinking during the games Sunday and this was still in his system as he was driving to work.. Unfortunately this happens.

  • norma allen

    East Patrick Henry Road is narrow, highly travelled and near large construction area–note the heavy equipment in the tv tape. No excuse though for allowing the driver out on bond. My sympathy to her family.

  • Linda Baker

    Not that it makes any difference in this case, but why don’t you ask how he lost his wife and the mother of his children? it was in an auto accident. I will not believe the worst until the verdict comes out. A more compassionate man you will not find. He has been my physician for the last 16 years and I completely trust him and will be in his corner. I am also grieving for the family of Meg Menzies. No children should have to go through what her children will have to go through now, as well as what the Carlson children had to go through when their mother was killed (possibly by a drunk driver). Now, you self-righteous ones out there, get off your high horse and pray for BOTH of these families. Also, remember to put down that cocktail long enough before you drive so as not to give something like this horrible tragedy a chance to happen. He knows what he has done, and you can believe he is paying for it right now and will for the rest of his life. I pray that somehow God will bring something good out of this.

    • sw

      Linda you just made the case why he should get no sympathy. This man was a doctor heading to work drunk. You can paint this picture any way you want to but it all comes back to him being drunk. You don’t have a BAC of .11 from drinking a six pack the night before as Jack would like everyone to believe. Only an idiot would believe that. This man was a Doctor and was going to work to be with patients drunk. You of all people Linda as his patient should be appalled that he may have been drunk many times while on duty. If people are stupid enough to think this was the first time this man drove drunk then you need to come back down to planet earth. Just because this man had never been caught does not mean he didn’t do it. You might want to check with others who have battled alcohol and see what they say about your theories. People who are driving that drunk in the morning have a drinking problem.

  • Holly Cohn

    This is a tragedy! Makes me sick to know that it happened in the early morning hours. Really a Doctor on his way to work and intoxicated! WOW! I hope his medical license is revoked (forever) and the judge throws the book at him! So sad :(

    • just sayin'

      Court record shows BAC at .11…does anyone realize how much he had to drink to be at a .11 at 8:15 a.m….so let me see if I have this correct…a Dr. who lost his wife to a drunk driver 5 years ago, father of 3 children, who is battling cancer and taking Chemo…gets behind the wheel of his Toyota Sequia kills a young mother of three will driving under the influence of alcohol so much that at 8:15 a.m. has a BAC level of .11…REALLY…he gets no sympathy from me…he should have known better…he is 47 YEARS OLD NOT 21 AND HAS SUFFERED THIS SAME LOSE…how do you allow yourself to be put in this circumstance and take the risk of causing another family to suffer such a tragedy…or how about this…causing your own death and putting your own children through this all over again…are you kidding me…I have no empathy for him, but for his children my heart breaks, they have already suffered horribly with the passing of their mother because of a drunk driver, now their father has caused the VERY SAME TRAGEDY FOR ANOTHER FAMILY WITH YOUNG CHILDREN…

      • Linda

        I did not say that his wife was killed by a drunk driver, I said, “possibly by a drunk driver”. And as I said before, he is paying right now. We all know there will be jail time involved, just as there was with the killing of the bicyclist two years ago. Have more confidence in our justice system. I also pray that nothing like this happens to any of you or yours. I have had family killed by drunk drivers, a first cousin, and almost killed, mangled so badly it took years to get better, a brother-in-law. We have no idea right now what happened for his BAC to be so high, and I’m not condoning anything related to that. We don’t know why things like this happen to people like Meg Menzies or Michael Carlson, but they do. But it is not up to us to be judge, jury and executioner. That will come from a higher place. Again, I will ask for prayers for both families.

  • jackburton77

    He drinks a 12 pack while watching football on Sunday and his BAC is still at .005. This happens WAY too often and there’s a huge lack of education on that particular point.

    The guy is going to get his but this happens every single morning of every day.

    • Walter Bridges

      There seems to be a lack of education about drinking that you can still be legally drunk the next morning even if you go to bed the day before at your normal bedtime. People think you automatically get reset to zero while you sleep, but sleeping actually slows your alcohol metabolism down.

      Over about 35 years I’ve known three people who were arrested for DUI the next morning, and I nicknamed them “morning afters.” MADD, government education services, and alcohol treatment services should be adding “the morning after” as a point of education. Even if you are responsible the night before and get driven back to your house or place of sleep, you can still be dangerous on the road when you wake up. I have yet to see public service announcements about it, but the public should know. All those commercials about driving drunk always show someone leaving the bar. They never show someone leaving their house after a night of being responsible.

  • Jen L

    there are no excuses. this wasn’t an accident. he did this, he should pay the price. i can’t believe people are actually defending this guy! i know plenty of people with cancer, and they’ve never killed anyone. he chose to drink. he chose to drive. and yes, up here on my high horse, i don’t drink and drive. and to say that everyone does it is ridiculous too. just because you’ve done it and gotten away with it doesn’t make it ok or right. what is the matter with you people??? he is a terrible human being. he should be sent to jail for life!

    • Walter Bridges

      See my other comment, but it sounds like a “delayed DUI.” Either he got up two hours before 8 and drank four drinks, or he got really drunk the night before and woke up still drunk. 0.11 is about where you’d be at if you had four drinks over a long dinner, but it would go slightly higher over the next hour. However, 0.19 at midnight is about where you’d be the night before when you went to bed, then woke up and tried to drive to work at 0.11. Or 0.21 at 10pm before you went to bed.

      His roadside and jail test will either show an increase or decrease between the two measurements. If it’s an increase, then he was drinking that morning. If it’s a decrease, then he was drunk from the night before.

  • Stephanie

    Praying for both families as no one wins in this situation. Everyone suffers. Not sure why the doctor’s levels were this much this time of the morning. Perhaps he took some meds with alcohol to dull the pain. Don’t know, just know both families are suffering. Just be careful of how you judge others. Let’s put the bottle and the cell phone down. It’s not that important.

  • Karen

    John 8: 7-8: So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.

  • Pamela Redman

    The doctor’s wife was killed in a car accident in 2004. He was left to raise his three children and her two. How ironic.

  • lililime

    This is terrible and incredibly sad news for everyone involved. I was one of thousands who ran in Meg’s honor last weekend.
    Although it is the result of the driver’s personal choices that resulted in this particular tragedy, it is important to remember that this is just one case among hundreds of thousands every single day. Studies have shown that ONE IN THREE drivers are under the influence of drugs (prescriptions included) and alcohol between the hours of 9PM – 3AM every day. Clearly, there is a lack of education, awareness, and understanding of the effects that drugs have on the human body.

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