Doctor's wife pushes for change to deadly intersection in Roanok - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Doctor's wife pushes for change to deadly intersection in Roanoke

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ROANOKE - The Schertz family is grieving the loss of a husband and father and wants to see the intersection on Jefferson Street between Roanoke Memorial Hospital and Blue Ridge Cancer Care made safer.

Denise Schertz says, "From this horrible tragedy the one thing I want to have happen is this intersection changed so people can cross safely.  Hundreds of people cross here everyday."

Her husband, Dr. Gerry Schertz died last week after being hit by a car as he was crossing the street from the hospital to his office.

Hundreds of people attended his memorial service on Wednesday in Roanoke.  He treated thousands of patients during his 36 years with Blue Ridge Cancer Care.

His daughter Meghan says,"Everyday someone comes up and tells me how wonderful he was.  They had nicknames for him.  They called him Captain Suspenders or Gear Bear.  They thought the world of him."

B.R.C.C. Nurse Practitioner, Jolee Preston knows from experience how he put patients and their families first. 

She says, "I would come with my grandfather to the appointments and Doctor Schertz was as good to me as he was my grandfather and even at 12 years old he just mesmerized me.  He was magical."

Dr. Suzan Merten explains, "He was amazing.  He was compassionate.  He was one of the hardest working physicians I have ever met.  After being here for 36 years he never slowed down struggling with retirement want to retire but not wanting to stop."

Flowers mark the crosswalk Dr. Schertz used countless times over his 36 years.  The same crosswalk where he was struck by a car on dark rainy night.  Hundreds came to his memorial service and among them his colleague and friend Dr. Bill Fintel."

Dr. Fintel says,"In the memorial service we just learned so many things about him.  I didn't know he was valedictorian of  his medical school's class.  He had to choose between Harvard and Yale...a man who trains in Yale and says I think I want to go work in the corner of Southwest Virginia in the mid 70's and bring cancer of an amazing level to a mountain area.  Gerry just always wanted us to do better. Every time we had a meeting or we thought about the practice as a whole he was always taking that bar and moving it up that is what I will probably miss the most."