Woman Sentenced To 8 Years For Fatal Crash That Killed Attorney

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UPDATED: Wednesday February 12, 2014 8:53 AM

A new push was made on Tuesday to change state law to protect more people from drunk drivers.

It all comes after the death of Annie Rooney, a young, local attorney - killed by a drunk driver last summer.
 
Shira Seymour pleaded guilty to an aggravated vehicular homicide in the case, and a Ross County judge sentenced her to the maximum penalty of eight years in prison.
 
The family of the 36-year-old avid bicyclist spoke about their ongoing nightmare and loss in court Tuesday.

"Each time the wind chimes sound around our house, I feel her presence," said Rick Rooney, Annie’s father, reminiscing about his daughter.

As four family members spoke for more than an hour, Seymour sat quietly, breaking down in tears a number of times as she listened before her sentencing.

"She took her car like a gun - she missed everyone else on the road, but she killed my sister," said Kate Rooney Lyaker, Annie’s younger sister.

Annie’s older brother took those in the courtroom back to the night of the crash.

"We later found out she suffered right after the crash, going through a hell on earth, not fit for a human being."

On the night of July 4th last year, police say Seymour, after a day of drinking, left a local bar with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit.  Investigators say minutes later, she slammed into Rooney's SUV just west of Chillicothe on U.S Route 50.

“The next time I saw her, she was in her casket," said Walt Rooney, her brother.

Seymour spoke directly to a gallery full of Annie’s family and friends before she was sentenced to eight years in prison.

”I will never forgive myself for taking another human life," Seymour said.

10TV’s Chuck Strickler asked Walt Rooney if he forgives Seymour.

"I think it's possible, but right now, I'm not in a position to understand how impactful that can be," he responded.

For now, the family is pushing for new legislation, named in Annie's honor, that would require interlock ignition devices on all vehicles of DUI offenders, and he says he knows Annie would approve.

"She knows this is a great first step,” Walt Rooney said.  “It might not solve everything, but it's going to save lives."

The legislation is going through a review, is sponsored by two lawmakers, and there’s a possibility it could be introduced in the statehouse by the end of the month

It would be known as Annie’s Law.

Similar legislation is already law in more than 20 states.

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