Well-Known Love County Doctor Hit and Killed


"Tears, disbelief, sadness, what can we do to help?..."

Richard Barker says he was shocked to learn about the death of well-known and loved community member, Dr. Virgil Smith.

"He was a champion for healthcare in our community. I often referred to him as our father of medicine. He's been here for many, many years."

The administrator of the Love county Mercy Health Clinic says Smith was instrumental in developing the clinic.

"He was very active and engaged. Very compassionate and cared about others and would go out of his way to accommodate the needs of many."

OHP trooper, Ken Duncan, says Smith was killed when he was hit by a truck while going to get his mail.
The case is still under investigation and they're not sure what caused the accident.

"Right now from what we're seeing, we can't completely rule out weather, but the roadway was clear. There wasn't ice build up on the roadway."

He says the fact that Smith was just feet from his home when he was killed makes it even harder for the loved ones he leaves behind.

"Being right in front of the home, it made it a little more difficult because we had family members and people that knew this gentleman for periods of time that were there and had to witness it," said Duncan.

Barker says it was devastating to have to tell Smith's longtime patients and friends what's happened.

"We're all suffering along with his family because we consider ourselves one great big large family in Love county and it's a tremendous loss."

Barker also says today would have been Smith's 83rd birthday.

The funeral has been set for 11 AM this Friday at the Marietta school auditorium.


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