CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - A Chesapeake veterinarian killed in a head-on collision Thursday is being fondly remembered by her co-workers and patrons.
Ruth Ann MacQeen's minivan collided with an SUV just before 8 a.m. on Shellilagh Road. Two Grassfield High School students were hospitalized and the cause of the accident has not been released.
The day after the accident, several people left flowers, pictures of their pets and stuffed animals in front of MacQueen's office at Midway Veterinary Hospital.
"She was a good woman with a heart of gold and an even bigger soul," MacQueen's former employee Karen DeWitt said.
Pete Messick told WAVY.com he will never forget how MacQueen helped him when he had to make the painful decision to euthanize his dog, Pumpkin.
"She saw I was really distraught 'cause I was there in the room when they did the procedures. She just rubbed me on the back and said, 'There is no charge,'" Messick said.
Superintendent of Chesapeake Animal Control Kathy Strouse said kind-hearted actions were the norm for MacQueen.
"That was typical of her to go the extra mile for the animals or for her clients," Strouse said.
Those who knew her say it wasn't just cat and dogs she helped. Many say MacQueen turned no animal away from her office.
"I remember coming into work one day and there was something in the kennel. I did a double take. There were two deer in there," DeWitt said.
10 On Your Side interviewed MacQueen last year when she took in an abused puppy named Clementine. MacQueen found that the dog's snout was wrapped with rubber bands and nursed it back to health.
Her clients say connecting with animals was MacQueen's specialty.
"She had a personal touch," Messick said. "She would play with the animals. She would talk to them like they were little children. Each one meant something to her no matter what it was."
MacQueen owned Midway Veterinary Hospital for more than 20 years. She also worked as the supervising veterinarian at the Chesapeake Animal Control office, helping even the hardest pets get adopted.
"The Shih Tzu who had to have its eye removed. She found a home for it," Strouse said. "Just time and time again she did stuff like that."
Messick says seeing the life MacQueen led makes him want to do more with his life.
"She did so much," Messick said. "Here I am 60 years old and I don't feel like I've done much in my life. I told my wife I need to do more."
In lieu of flowers MacQueen's husband would like people to make donations to the 'Dizzy Fund' at Midway Veterinarian Hospital. MacQueen set up this fund to help people who could not afford to pay for their animals treatments.
Midway Veterinarian Hospital
1646 South Military Highway
Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
A celebration of Dr. MacQueen's life will be held Saturday, Dec. 1 at South Norfolk Congregational Christian Church at 1 p.m.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
Hampton Fire units arrived at the scene of a residential fire in the 3800 block of Shell Road just after 6 p.m.
One person was able to get out of a Newport News house safely after police say a man fired a gun.