OC doctor identified as bicyclist struck by vehicle, stabbed to death by driver in Dana Point
DANA POINT, Calif. - A bizarre and violent incident is under investigation after Southern California authorities say a bicyclist died after being hit from behind while riding on Pacific Coast Highway in the Dana Point area, then attacked by the driver that hit them.
The Orange County Fire Authority responded to a call of a cyclist being hit by a car near Crown Valley Parkway and East Pacific Coast Highway around 3 p.m.
According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the cyclist – later identified as 58-year-old Michael Mammone – was hit from behind by a white Lexus, and after the crash, the driver of the Lexus got out of the car and assaulted the cyclist with a knife.
Witnesses said the suspect struck the bicyclist and proceeded to stab the victim at least once in the back.
Dr. Michael Mammone has been identified as the man killed in the crash-turned-stabbing.
The suspect, later identified by authorities as Vanroy Evan Smith, 39, of Long Beach, was detained by bystanders and then taken into custody where he was booked on suspicion of murder.
A knife, believed to be used in the attack, was recovered at the scene.
Officials say there appears to be no connection between the suspect and victim.
Mammone was an ER doctor at Providence Mission Hospital Laguna Beach where he had worked since 2011.
The hospital released the following statement saying, "We are stunned by this devastating tragedy. The entire Mission Hospital family is grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend. We will honor Dr. Mammone’s dedication to our community and passion for medicine by continuing to provide exceptional care."
"He was an amazing doctor," said staff at Mission. Mammome would ride his bike often, as he lives blocks away from his job. He was killed less than a mile away from his job.
"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 Thursday, FOX 11 obtained photos of the man believed to be the suspect in Mammone's death.
FOX 11 obtained a photo of the man believed to be the suspect in the car crash-turned-stabbing that ultimately killed an Orange County doctor.
The Orange County DA's Office says they are presently prosecuting close to 70 cases of vehicular death, with quite a few involving road rage, which seems to have exploded since people returned to driving after COVID restrictions.
Other bicyclists using the same stretch of PCH echo the sentiment that drivers seem less patient and angrier. The area where the crash happened is in a narrow part of PCH, with little room for cars and bikes, they explain, adding that quite a few people have stopped riding their bikes in the area.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-288-6740. You can remain anonymous by calling Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.