SAN ANTONIO – A prominent San Antonio surgeon is being remembered by family, friends and staff for his passion of cycling.
But in a tragic coincidence, Dr. Naji Kayruz died doing what he loved.
Police said Kayruz was riding his bicycle Monday night near Interstate 10 and the Dominion when a car driven by a suspected drunken driver hit and killed him, police said. Kayruz was in the marked bike lane, was wearing a helmet and had lights on his bike when he was hit, police said.
The driver, Melissa Nicole Peoples, was charged with intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid. She was being held in the Bexar County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.
Kayruz's family and staff members said the surgeon had been cycling for more than 12 years and rode with many local teams, including recently with the H-E-B bike team.
"Dr. Kayruz loved to cycle anytime he wasn't working, and when he had free time, he would cycle," said Felicia Mares, who worked as one of two staff members in Kayruz's office.
Mares said Kayruz, who had practiced in San Antonio for more than 25 years, will be greatly missed by the cycling community, his patients and to many people who knew his kindness.
"He will be truly missed and he will be always remembered. We loved Dr Kayruz," Mares said. "He's been a wonderful boss, and the best doctor anybody could have."
Kayruz leaves behind his wife, Dr. Sandra Vasquez-Kayruz, and their 23-year-old son, Anthony.
The family released the following statement:
"We are grieving. What can we do but grieve for an amazing doctor, husband, and father. He dedicated his life to serving others, both in his profession and in the household. He cared for his friends and his family so deeply and humbly. He sacrificed for them without ever asking for anything in return. He lived a life of virtue. We can only try to emulate his example. We will love and cherish him forever."