Road will link new portion of Woodman with Glover Park
A ½-mile road planned for construction next year will be named Lambert Way in honor of the life and service of the late Donald L. Lambert Jr., a captain with the Henrico County Police Division who was killed in a hit-and-run crash early this year.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Schmitt announced the naming in a ceremony Wednesday along where Woodman Road is being extended northeastward from Greenwood Road.
Lambert’s wife, Rebecca Simulcik, other family members, representatives of the Henrico Police Division and Henrico Fraternal Order of Police and other county employees looked on as a temporary sign for Lambert Way was unveiled. A permanent sign will be installed once construction is complete.
“It’s a wonderful way to really just recognize everything that he did,” said Simulcik, assistant director of Henrico’s Department of Human Resources. “Don was totally invested in his community and in traffic safety and in running and keeping fit, so this is just amazing. It’s really wonderful.”
Lambert, 55, was off duty when he was struck by a vehicle and killed Feb. 27 while out for a run on Greenwood. A Chesterfield County man charged in the case pleaded guilty to felony murder and felony hit and run. He is scheduled for sentencing in January.
Lambert, a nearly 34-year veteran of the Police Division, had served the division since 1987 and was captain of the Special Operations Group. He oversaw fatal traffic crash investigations, explosive ordnance disposal, K-9 officers, emergency response, marine patrol and metro aviation, among other functions.
Schmitt, who represents the Brookland District, lauded Lambert for not only serving his community but also enriching it through his participation in organizations and events.
“We talk often about the Henrico Way — this county’s practice of doing things the right way, of going the extra mile to serve our public, of placing service above self,” said Schmitt, who was joined by Supervisor Frank J. Thornton, of the Fairfield District, and Supervisor Tyrone E. Nelson, of the Varina District. “I think it is fair to say that Don exemplified the Henrico Way before there really was a Henrico Way … It came naturally to Don, was part of his discipline and was simply the way he approached his work and his life.”
Lambert lived in Glen Allen, where he also lived as a child while attending Trevvett Elementary and Brookland Middle schools before graduating from Hermitage High School. He went on to James Madison University, earning a bachelor’s degree in history before returning to Henrico.
In addition to his service for the Police Division, he was a skilled fiddle player and a devoted member of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday school and served on the safety and security team.
Lambert Way will meander west from Woodman, near Winfrey Road, and align with a road that currently serves as an entrance to Glover Park. Officials plan to request construction bids in the spring and open Lambert Way around spring of 2023.
The road will feature a 12-foot-wide bike and pedestrian path that will tie into a similar path along the extended portion of Woodman and ultimately the Fall Line Trail, which is planned to extend between Ashland and Petersburg.
In remarks, County Manager John A. Vithoulkas urged the gathering to honor Lambert by following his example of leaning into a faith in God, loving and serving family and others, striving for excellence and fully embracing “each moment of life.”
“Don truly meant so much to so many,” Vithoulkas said. “Our hope is that all travelers of this road will follow the ‘Lambert Way’ of using the time we are given.”
The road’s naming follows other tributes to Lambert. In May, more than 70 officers and other county employees participated in the Don Lambert Memorial Workout at Hermitage High. In October, a 5-kilometer run – the “Let’s Finish the Run” Don Lambert Memorial 5k – was held at Crump Park to benefit the Henrico Police Foundation and music programs at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church.