Woman killed by fire truck was Washington lawyer in Lexington for running championship

jwarren@herald-leader.com, jkegley@herald-leader.comDecember 9, 2012 

A downtown pedestrian who died late Saturday when she was struck by a Lexington fire truck was an attorney with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission who was in town to compete in a cross-country running competition.

Lexington officials had released little information about the accident by Sunday night, but they said the investigation was continuing. Mayor Jim Gray said in a statement that full details might not be available until early next year, and he expressed condolences to the victim's family.

A report from the Fayette County coroner's office said the case was being investigated as an accident.

According to police, Lauren Woodall Roady, 27, of Washington, D.C., died shortly after she was struck about 10:05 p.m. Saturday by the Lexington Division of Fire's Engine 9 at Broadway and West Main Street near Triangle Park. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said that the fire truck was on a non-emergency trip to pick up some crew members and that its siren and warning lights were not in operation when the accident occurred.

"They were driving with traffic," police lieutenant Richard Willoby said.

According to the police report issued late Sunday, the fire truck was being driven by firefighter Christopher Presley and was making a left turn from West Main Street onto South Broadway when Roady was struck. That intersection is next to Triangle Park, not far from the city's outdoor skating rink and Christmas tree.

The police report said Roady was crossing Broadway from east to west when she was struck. Earlier Sunday, police said it wasn't clear whether she was in the crosswalk when the accident occurred. The police report doesn't say whether she was in the crosswalk.

The police report offered no other details "pending a thorough investigation." Police were reviewing surveillance camera footage in hopes of learning more details.

According to police, the accident initially was reported as a hit and run. When officers and rescue units arrived, they learned that the fire truck had struck Roady.

Willoby said Saturday night that officers were using cameras and high-tech scanners to take measurements and gather data at the scene.

"We want to make sure we document the scene the best we can," he said.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed the accident to call (859) 258-3679.

Lauren Woodall Roady, who also had been an eventing rider before taking up running in college, was married a little more than two months ago to Peter Roady of Washington, D.C., according to the couple's online wedding registry. Like her, he was a graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina.

Jake Klim, a member of Roady's Washington running club, said in an email Sunday night that he and other runners were still in shock over her death.

"It was a long (10-hour) painful trip back to Washington, D.C., today," Klim wrote in the email.

Lauren Roady came to Lexington to run in the USA Track & Field Club Cross Country Championships at Masterson Station Park on Saturday.

Roady, a native of Tennessee and a graduate of Knoxville's Farragut High School, was a 2008 magna cum laude graduate of Davidson, where she began running because she thought it might improve her competitive horseback riding skills, according to the running club's website She was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honorary society.

Roady studied at Georgetown University Law Center and graduated from the New York University Law School before joining the legal staff at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in August 2011.

In a prepared statement on the accident Sunday afternoon, the mayor said Lexington police "are conducting a full investigation, as they do in all traffic fatalities."

"Today, I want to reach out to her family to express our sympathy for their loss. You are in my prayers. If my office can be assistance, please let us know."

The Fayette County coroner's office said Roady died of multiple blunt-force trauma. An autopsy was performed Sunday, but the coroner's office said no additional information was available Sunday night.

Roady was a runner with the Georgetown Running Club race team, based in Washington. Matt Charny, who works at Georgetown Running Co., a Washington running shop, said he received word of Roady's death Sunday afternoon.

"Of course we're very saddened," Charny said. "You always hate to hear about something like this."

Charny said Roady and a number of other runners from the Georgetown club were in to Lexington for the event at Masterson Station Park.

According to online results posted from the Masterson Station event, Roady finished 149th in the women's open 6K run. Her Georgetown running club finished 11th among women's teams.

According to information on the Georgetown Running Club website, Roady joined the team last spring and was an aggressive, up-and-coming runner.

Jerry Alexander, who coaches the team, said on his blog that Roady took to distance running "like a cat to a sunny spot on the floor." She put up a "tooth and nail fight" during the recent Navy Half Marathon, he said.

Staff writer Cheryl Truman contributed information for this article. Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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