Suspect Arrested in Newport Beach Hit and Run That Killed Cyclist

A prominent doctor and avid cyclist was killed Saturday, and now a suspect is in custody

By Melissa Pamer
|  Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012  |  Updated 10:47 AM PDT
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Newport Beach Police Arrest Hit-and-Run Suspect

Getty Images / Scott Olson

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A suspect has been arrested in the hit-and-run death of a well-known Irvine doctor who was killed while bicycling in Newport Beach Sept. 15.

Michael Jason Lopez, 39, of Anaheim was booked 2 a.m. Tuesday on suspicion of Vehicular Manslaughter with Gross Negligence, the Newport Beach Police Department said in a news release.

Dr. Catherine "Kit" Campion-Ritz, 57, died Saturday after being hit while riding northbound on Newport Coast Drive.

The vehicle that hit her was at the time reported as a black full-sized pickup truck.

The driver of the truck did not stop.

Newport Beach police Traffic Investigator Eric Little said a 2000 Toyota Tundra truck had been recovered with damage to the right-front end.

Campion-Ritz had been an avid cyclist and for more than two decades, according to a press release put out by MemorialCare Health System.

For nearly 20 years, she had been the president of Greater Newport Physicians, which has more than 500 doctor members.

"Dr. Kit Campion was a warm, engaging leader, respected and loved by her patients, physician colleagues, nurses and health care professionals throughout Orange County," said Diane Laird, chief executive officer of Greater Newport Physicians CEO and a long-time friend of the victim.

Anyone with information regarding the collision is asked to contact Little at (949) 644-3746.

Lopez is being held at Newport Beach Police Jail on $100,000 bail.

The collision was the second in two days that killed a cyclist in Newport Beach.

On Sept. 15, 29-year-old Sarah Leaf was killed by a vehicle whose driver remained at the scene. Little said that incident was still under investigation and no arrests had been made.
 

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