A State Highway Patrol dispatcher is under investigation for failing to alert troopers to intercept a reckless driver who, minutes later, caused a crash that killed a Chillicothe lawyer.

The Following Article Appeared in the Columbus Dispatch on August 24, 2013
By Randy Ludlow
The Columbus Dispatch
August 24, 2013

The July 4 crash on Rt. 50 west of Chillicothe fatally injured Anna Rooney, 36, and critically injured Shira Seymour, 36, of Bainbridge, when Seymour’s sport-utility vehicle crossed the center line and hit Rooney’s SUV.

Seymour’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.19 percent, more than twice the 0.08 percent level at which a driver is presumed drunk in Ohio. She has not been charged.

A Chillicothe police officer called the patrol dispatcher at 9:23 p.m. to report that an off-duty officer had seen a speeding vehicle, later identified as Seymour’s, run three red lights while heading west out of the city without its headlights on.

Dispatcher Catherine Davis indicated, according to a recording, that no troopers were nearby. The crash occurred about five minutes later, and the first trooper arrived a minute after it was reported, according to patrol records.

Davis failed to notify troopers about the reckless driver. Nor did she relay the report to other police agencies, such as the sheriff’s office, said Lt. Anne Ralston, spokeswoman for the patrol.

The dispatcher also apparently violated patrol policy by failing to document the call received from Chillicothe police, Ralston said. Davis, 62, who has no history of disciplinary action, remains on the job. She did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Rooney’s brother said the theft of his sister’s bicycles in Columbus contributed to her death. She died in the crash while returning home from a friend’s house, where she had borrowed a bike for an upcoming race. Two of her bikes were stolen while she was visiting German Village on June 30.

Link to original article: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/08/24/patrol-probes-dispatchers-handling-of-call-before-fatal-crash.html

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