HERMITAGE, Tenn. – A car collision in Wilson County has claimed the life of a well-known oncologist and resulted in criminal charges for another man.
Patients and colleagues are remembering Dr. Eric Raefsky, age 59, as a caring and personable man, who helped build the practice at Tennessee Oncology at TriStar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage.
Dr. Raefsky worked there for more than 30 years and helped countless patients.
“I’ve had several colleagues tell me Dr. Raefsky was part of the heart and soul of Tennessee Oncology,” said Dr. Jeff Patton, CEO of Tennessee Oncology. “Our patients felt it. Our staff felt it. The sense of loss is difficult to put into words.”
Wednesday Dr. Raefsky’s office was quiet. Patients and fellow doctors left notes praising his work and contributions on the office door.
“It’s been a day of mixed emotions,” said Dr. Patton. “It’s difficult to explain what he means to us.”
Judith Smith, one of Dr. Raefsky’s patients, said she first met him in 2006 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. With his encouragement and support, she is now cancer free.
“He is like no other doctor I’ve ever had,” said Smith. “He was so personable, so wonderful. He was too young to go.”
Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers said Clayton Rogers, 20, of Mt. Juliet, was driving westbound on Stewarts Ferry Pike when he reportedly failed to yield to a traffic signal and crashed into the driver’s side of Dr. Raefsky’s car. Both cars ended up in a nearby ditch.
The traffic report also stated authorities found evidence Rogers was under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the accident. He faces one count of felony reckless endangerment and a citation for failing to yield to a traffic signal.
Further charges are pending. The investigation is ongoing.