The California Highway Patrol said it appears Dr. Smith ran a stop sign as he approached the intersection heading south on Temperance. He died after his vehicle hit the back of a truck's trailer.
News of the accident spread quickly through the medical community. Dr. Cynthia Bergmann served with Dr. Smith at the Fresno Madera Medical Society, a physicians' advocacy organization. She found out about the doctor's death Tuesday morning. "It just keeps coming back to haunt you ... because you can't believe Robb's gone," said Dr. Bergmann.
Dr. Smith currently held the office of president elect, but he also served on various state and legislative committees. Until last year Dr. Smith worked in Kerman treating elderly patients. "He really cared about the older patients. He did a lot of work in nursing homes. He worked with the California Medical Association on many nursing homes issues," said Dr. Bergmann.
Dr. Smith's father, Dr. Robb Smith Sr., was also a doctor. The elder Dr. Smith worked in Orange Cove and helped found the local blood center. Colleagues say Dr. Robb Smith, Jr. will be remembered for not his profession, but his service. "They're very hard shoes to fill. And I don't think they're going to be filled for a long long time," said Dr. Bergmann.
Dr. Smith is survived by his wife and two adult children. They said he recently took a job as a hospitalist in Bakersfield and was headed to work when the accident happened.NEWS BY LOCATION | ABC30 BLOGS | DISCUSSION FORUMS
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