UPDATE: Colleagues remember Greenville doctor killed trying to help driver

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A Greenville doctor lost his life Sunday afternoon when he was struck by a car while trying to help another driver on the side of a busy Wake County highway.

Today, flowers hang on Dr. Roger McMurray’s office door at Physicians East in his memory.

His coworkers say Greenville was his home turf. He grew up here, went to ECU Brody School of Medicine, and served four years as a doctor in the U.S. Air Force before joining Physicians East about a decade ago, where served his home community.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, 45-year-old McMurray and another driver, 53-year-old Gregory Harman of Raleigh, had both pulled over on I-87 near Smithfield Road in Knightdale shortly before 12:30 in the afternoon Sunday to help a driver who crashed his car into a ditch.

Troopers say that another driver, 46-year-old Erik Rivas of Wendell, was speeding in the southbound lanes when he lost control of his vehicle and hit both of the men who had stopped to help the first driver.

McMurray was pronounced dead at the scene, and Harman was pronounced dead a short time later at Wake Medical Center in Raleigh.

One of McMurray’s closest coworkers, Dr. Wayne Cox, says he is still trying to understand his unexpected loss.

“We’re shocked. We’re still waiting to wake up from this nightmare. This is devastating,” Dr. Cox shared.

Dr. Alejandro Haag has known Dr. McMurray for more than a decade and said how he lost his life speaks volumes about his character.

“He was doing that day what he would always do – help, and that is how I know what happened. Here at Physicians East, it is like we have lost a lobe of our brain,” Dr. Haag shared.

To the loss of a Brody School of Medicine alumni and staff at the ECU Health Medical Center, ECU Health wrote to WITN that they “extend its deepest sympathies to Dr. McMurray’s loved ones, Physicians East, and all those impacted by this tragic event.”

According to Troopers, Rivas has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, and exceeding a safe speed. Troopers said they did not think Rivas was impaired.

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