By Jennifer Smola
The family of a Chillicothe woman killed in a car crash last week hopes to find the stolen bicycle that they say changed her fate.
Anna Rooney, 36, had recently developed a passion for mountain-bike racing. When someone used bolt cutters to steal two of Rooney’s bikes outside the German Village Guest House on Jaeger Street on June 30, she scrambled to borrow a bike for an upcoming race, said her brother, Walt Rooney, 42, of Seattle.
She had just picked up that bike from a friend in southern Ross County around 9:20 p.m. Thursday and was returning home along Rt. 50 when her Lincoln Navigator was struck by a Chevrolet Suburban that crossed into her lane, said Sgt. James Lott of the Chillicothe post of the State Highway Patrol.
Rooney and the driver of the Suburban, Shira Seymour, 36, of Bainbridge, were taken to Adena Medical Center in Chillicothe before being transferred to Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, Lott said. Rooney died early Friday.
If her bikes hadn’t been stolen, she wouldn’t have been on the road that night, Walt Rooney said. “Unfortunately, she just had to get that bike.”
One of Rooney’s stolen bikes was recovered earlier on Thursday at a central Ohio pawnshop, but the bike she used for races is still missing.
Walt Rooney said his family wants to find his sister’s bike to preserve her memory. “That bike was her new passion,” he said. “It just meant a lot to her and, therefore, it meant a lot to us.”
The missing mountain bike is dark-colored and the Santa Cruz brand, Walt Rooney said.
Anna Rooney grew up in Chillicothe and had recently moved back to start a private law practice after serving as a prosecutor in Montana, her brother said.
Police are investigating the crash. No charges have been filed, and Seymour is still in critical condition, Lott said.
A photo of Rooney’s stolen bike can be found on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/annie.rooney.50. Rooney’s family asked that anyone with information about the missing bike email: email@example.com