When Springfield, Massachusetts physician and professor Dr. David Kattan received an email with a subject line announcing "sad news," he didn't expect it to be of such magnitude.
But the email to University of Massachusetts medical school staff was to inform them their colleague, Dr. Michael Plevyak, 49, was killed in Vancouver over the weekend when he was struck by a tour bus.
Kattan said those who knew Plevyak are feeling "a sense of tremendous loss."
"We just feel there's been a hole left in his absence … certainly none of us expected him to be killed while on vacation," Kattan told On The Coast guest host Michelle Eliot.
"He clearly was a devoted father and husband. He would often bring his family to department events and you could see the love they all shared for one another.
"What he demonstrated to me was how you can not only be a wonderful physician but also a good person and a great friend."
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Kattan remembers Plevyak for his passion as a professor who instructed UMass residents in obstetrics and gynecology as they began their careers.
"He devoted his entire professional life to them," Kattan said. "He came to work every day with a passion that they receive the very best of him."
He also worked with women experiencing high risk and complicated pregnancies "and made sure they got the very best care possible."
"Dr. Plevyak had a very strong bond with his patients. He had a very good balance of clinical excellence and personal touch that allowed patients to trust him," he said.
Beyond his work and family, Kattan says Plevyak was a big sports fan and especially loved hockey and baseball.
"He always had a smile on his face. He was such a positive person and a pleasure to be around."
Plevyak was the only person killed in the Sunday morning crash. Two members of his family were also injured.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast