Fairfax football coach killed in Beltway accident

(PHOTO: JMHS ATHLETICS)

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — The varsity football coach at James Madison High School was killed in a two-vehicle accident on the Inner Loop of the Beltway on Saturday afternoon.

The accident happened around 3:48 p.m., when the coach, Lenny Schultz, and his nephew Albert Schultz IV, were trying to re-secure a boat to their pickup truck in the interchange between westbound I-495 and I-95 South/I-495/I-395 North.

A box truck drifted into the median, police say, and struck Lenny and Albert. Lenny died at Fairfax Inova hospital, and Albert is being treated for life-threatening injuries. The driver of the box truck, Carlos Alberto Garcia, 42, of Woodbridge, Va., was not injured in the crash and has been initially charged with reckless driving.

The principal of James Madison, Gregory Hood, released the following letter to the James Madison HS community.

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the news that our varsity football coach, Lenny Schultz, died yesterday in a traffic accident.  As a central figure in our school and the entire community, we understand that many will be affected in some way by this tragedy. It’s important to deal openly with the subject and comfort each other. Parents, we recommend that you fully discuss the subject of Mr. Schultz’s death with your teen and expect a wide range of emotions. 

As a special education teacher and our football coach, Mr. Schultz was known to be a kind, compassionate  and thoughtful person. His friendship, guidance, and leadership will be greatly missed. An educator for more than two decades, Mr. Schultz was thoroughly devoted to the Madison High School community. Those who knew Mr. Schultz understood him to be a person of integrity whose life and dedication to his students, staff and community were an inspiration to all of us.  I know I speak for our faculty and students,  as well as myself, when I tell you that Mr. Schultz’s  death has left a void that can never be entirely filled. We were privileged to know and work with him. 

Beginning tomorrow, counselors and members of a FCPS crisis response team will be available to meet with any students and staff who need support in dealing with this news.  We are taking every step we can to be responsive to the needs of our students and their families. Keep us informed if there are ways we can support you.  Administrators, coaches and counselors will also be meeting today with members of the football team to discuss the situation and provide support and guidance. 

We all share in the Schultz family’s loss and grief. Thank you for your support and understanding.