Wife of top IW emergency official dies in wreck

Published 10:17 pm Wednesday, June 16, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—A Windsor woman was killed in a crash on Route 258 Monday, State Police said.

Karen Phillips Chase, 47, of the 200 block of Hidden Acres Circle was driving a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle convertible southbound near Route 799 at about 5:35 p.m. when her car left the road. She overcorrected, and the car crossed into the opposite lane and collided with the driver of a 2007 Nissan Altima, according to Sgt. Michelle Cotten, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police.

Chase died at the scene, Cotten said.

The other driver, whom police did not identify, was transported to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Chase was wearing a seatbelt, and alcohol was not a factor.

Chase was the wife of Isle of Wight Emergency Services Coordinator Rusty Chase. She was raised in Franklin, graduating from Franklin High School and the Louise Obici School of Nursing.

She was a registered nurse with the Western Tidewater Health District for more than 25 years.

The Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department has planned a fundraising bluegrass concert for Friday to benefit the couple’s three daughters, Lindsey, Lauren and Leigh-Ann.

“We do these monthly bluegrass concerts at the fire station,” said Albert Burckard, vice president for Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department. “Normally proceeds go to the fire station for uniforms and medical supplies. We decided whatever is donated (on Friday) will go to the memorial fund for the girls’ education.”

The fire department chose to do the benefit because members work closely with Rusty Chase.

“I’ve known him for a long time,” Burckard said. “He’s really a great guy.”

The news of Karen Chase’s death was devastating, Burckard added.

“It was just so sudden and both have done so much for the community,” he said. “It’s one of those things that hit you hard.”

A graveside funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m. Friday at Windsor Cemetery with the Rev. Mark Habecker officiating. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Wright Funeral Home, Franklin, and suggests memorials be made to the Karen Chase Memorial Fund, c/o Farmer’s Bank, P. O. Box 285, Windsor, Va. 23487, for the continuing education of her daughters.