Newport Beach police have arrested a 39-year-old man in connection with a hit-and-run collision that occurred on September 14, 2012. The crash fatally injured reputed Orange County doctor and avid bicyclist, Catherine “Kit” Campion Ritz, 57. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, police arrested Michael Jason Lopez was arrested on September 18, 2012 and has been charged with hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Ritz was killed when she was struck from behind by a pickup truck while riding her bicycle north on Pacific Coast Highway, between Ocean Vista and Vista Ridge.
My heartfelt condolences go out to everybody who knew and loved Ritz, who was apparently a respected professional and a beloved member of the community. The Daily Pilot states that Ritz was a member of the U.S. National Disaster Medical Team and had served for the last 18 years as the president of Greater Newport Physicians. Ritz was also an avid bicyclist, hiker and kayaker. This is indeed a tragic loss for her family and the community.
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