Colleagues of the “wonderful doctor” who was struck and murdered by a car while bicycling in the afternoon in Southern California have spoken out. Dr. Michael Mammone’s coworkers at Providence Mission Hospital Laguna Beach told FOX Los Angeles that he frequently rode his bike to work because he lived so close to the hospital.
“That’s the irony of this whole thing. If a patient was brought in his condition he would have done everything he could to save that person. He has saved so many lives here, and he died very close to where he saved hundreds of lives,” said cardiologist Dr. Dawn Aatwal.
On Wednesday Mammone was killed while cycling along Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point, a community on California’s southern coast. Authorities said a driver in a Lexus rear-ended Mammone and then jumped out of the vehicle and attacked him with a knife.
Vanroy Evan Smith the suspect was reportedly detained by onlookers, according to witnesses. In this case, he was detained on charges of murder. A knife found at the scene is likely the one used in the assault. According to their research, no link between Mammone and Smith has been found.
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Beginning in 2011, Mammone has been a valuable member of the hospital staff. The medical center had previously told it was “stunned by this sad catastrophe.”
“The entire Mission Hospital family is grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend,” the statement said. “We will honor Dr. Mammone’s dedication to our community and passion for medicine by continuing to provide exceptional care.”
Smith pled not guilty to first-degree murder and an enhancement of personal use of a weapon on Friday in court. He could spend the rest of his life in prison.
“An innocent man is dead because he took a bike ride to enjoy a beautiful California day along the beach and he was hit with a car and stabbed to death by someone he apparently never met,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said.
“The murder of a complete stranger in broad daylight for what appears to be absolutely no reason is the stuff of nightmares. This unspeakable act of violence will forever haunt those who were forced to witness it and it will forever haunt all of those who loved Dr. Mammone.”
Smith has been ordered jailed on $1,000,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on February 14th.
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