Local lifesavers awarded in Avon | VailDaily.com

Local lifesavers awarded in Avon

Dustin Racioppi
Avon, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado ” The first time Mike Malec, Bradley Dorcas and Alan Sharp met Tim Rooney, he was hunched over and turning blue on Interstate 70 in Avon, Colorado, the three unsure if he would live.

The second meeting, on Tuesday night, was much more pleasant, when the three locals left a recognition ceremony at the Avon Town Council meeting and met with Rooney at Avon’s Outback restaurant.

“I’m looking forward to hanging out with Tim and shaking his hand,” Malec said after the meeting. “It’s going to be a good feeling.”

Malec, a Vail firefighter, and Comcast employees Dorcas and Sharp were each awarded the Avon Police Department’s Lifesaver Awards for their efforts in bringing Rooney back to life after his semi-truck jackknifed and crashed on Dec. 26.

Rooney, who drives for Wal-Mart, was driving on the highway when he suffered a massive heart attack. Malec, Dorcas and Sharp were nearby and saw the accident, then quickly gave Rooney CPR and helped direct traffic until the fire department and an ambulance arrived.

Another man, Robert Pickens, also was awarded Tuesday but wasn’t at the ceremony.

“These four individuals were actually right on scene at the perfect moment,” Avon Police Chief Brian Kozak said. “The EMS and ER doctors said without a doubt, these four individuals saved Mr. Rooney’s life.”

For that, Rooney’s 25-year-old daughter, Meghan, couldn’t be more thankful at the ceremony. She spoke briefly, overwhelmed with tears.

“All I can say is thank you,” she said. “If there’s anybody who deserved a second chance, it’s my dad. It’s just amazing.”

Tim Rooney was unable to attend the ceremony due to litigation concerning the accident and couldn’t comment on the situation, either.

Meghan Rooney said he has been in good health since the accident and hopes to return to work soon.

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or dracioppi@vaildaily.com.

Support Local Journalism