Colleague of plane crash victim speaks out

Dr. Lionel Zumbro (WRDW-TV)
Dr. Lionel Zumbro (WRDW-TV)
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News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013

MCDUFFIE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- Many are filled with grief after the death of Dr. Steven Roth, a victim in the plane crash in Thomson Wednesday night.

Dr. Lionel Zumbro, a close friend of Dr. Roth, said they didn't share an office, but they shared the same passion.

"It's depressing and horrible for everybody, especially in the medical community," he said.

And it's a feeling that's all too familiar for him.

"I personally had my plane go down 10 or 12 years ago, lost some very good friends in it," Zumbro said.

He was the owner of the plane that went down killing Sen. Thomas Allgood and his wife more than a decade ago.

"When my plane went down with my friends in it, it took time, lots of time, a very slow process," Zumbro said.

Now, 12 years later, he's going through that process again. This time, it's another friend -- one in his field.

"He was very professional, very knowledgeable," said Zumbro about Roth. "I think he really pioneered vein work here in Augusta, he really enjoyed it."

Zumbro says he really enjoyed having Roth as a colleague.

"It makes it a little harder for us to go on and do our work today," he said.

And Zumbro says he knows tomorrow will be hard, too, and the next ... and the next.

"I think it takes you a few days for you to get over the initial shock and the realization that something terrible like this has happened," he said.

In this case, you could technically call the doctors competitors since they worked at different practices, but Zumbro says he has never seen it that way. He says they worked in different buildings but worked toward the same goal -- the best patient care possible.

Click here to read News 12's live blog on the plane crash

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