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Powell-Area Bar Owner Charged After Vehicular Death of His Business Partner and Girlfriend

The co-owner of a popular Delaware County bar and restaurant has died after being struck by a vehicle driven by her boyfriend and business partner as he was backing up in the parking lot there. Laura Smith Baum, 60, died Sunday after being struck on Dec. 6.

Scott Andrew Brofcheck, 63, long-time owner of Liberty Station Sports Bar, was backing his vehicle in the parking lot of the business in Liberty Township on Dec. 6 when he apparently failed to see Baum and knocked her to the ground. She sustained a laceration to the back of her head after which her heart stopped, according to court records.

She had been hospitalized in critical condition until her death on Sunday.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Delaware County Common Pleas Court, Brofcheck, known as Scotty, admitted to have been drinking prior to the incident, though it was unclear if his alcohol level was measured. He was charged with aggravated vehicular assault, but that charge may be upgraded after Baum’s passing.

The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate and will now consult with the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office “as to the next steps and possible additional charges,” according to Tracy Whited, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

Brofcheck and Baum, co-owners of the bar for at least 10 years, were in a long-term relationship, according to social media and friends. On Sept. 18, she posted an online message to him: “Happy Birthday my love. I hope it’s a great day.”

Having a relationship with a business partner can be difficult, yet the couple “really loved each other,” said Don Rankey, Delaware County Treasurer, who has known Baum for more than 10 years since her three sons were friends and soccer teammates with his two sons. The boys participated in four state soccer championships at Olentangy Liberty High School, winning in 2012.

“She was just an incredible mother to her three boys,” Rankey said. “It’s just a tragedy beyond belief. We were like, ‘How could something like this happen?'”

Baum’s son, Travis, called his mother his “best friend, my rock,” on a Facebook post. “You were the most compassionate, understanding, loving and kind person I have ever known … Thank you for showing me unconditional love, being there for me at my worst when no one else was and for being the best mom in the world. I love you to the moon and back.”

“I’ll see you in my dreams momma.”

Brofcheck’s bond is currently set at $10,000, according to court records.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch