Saturday, September 15, 2012, 5pm.
At about 3pm I was alerted to police cars and emergency vehicles cordoning off the bike-lane on northbound Newport Coast Drive at the exact top of the hill, between Pelican Hill Road and Vista Ridge. I pedaled over and was told by a Newport Beach police officer that a motorist hit a cyclist in the bike lane at 9:45am and did not stop. The cyclist, Catherine “Kit” Campion-Ritz of Irvine, died in a hospital a while later. A friend of mine, also a local physician, says Dr. Campion-Ritz was a pillar of the Newport Beach medical community.
This is the second motorist v. cyclist fatality in Newport Beach in the last 24 hours, following the tragic killing of Sarah Leaf who was run over by the driver of a truck at East Coast Highway and Bayside on Friday morning.
Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and we hope the Newport Beach Police Department will quickly find her killer.
UPDATE: Traffic officers from the Newport Beach Police Department arrested a suspect in Dr Campion’s killing at 2am today, September 18, 2012.