A pedestrian in a through lane of Highway 82 was struck and killed by a vehicle in front of the Aspen-Basalt Mobile Home Park at 1:50 a.m. Friday, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
The victim was identified as Kathryn Kania, 53, of Basalt, by the Eagle County Coroner’s Office.
Kania owned a business called A Unique Touch and practiced at 711 E. Valley Road, where a complex of medical and therapy offices are located above Alpine Bank at Willits. The website for Kania’s business said she was a craniosacral specialist and massage therapist.
The preliminary investigation revealed Kania “was standing in the right lane of eastbound Colorado 82 facing to the west,” the State Patrol said in a statement. “A 2003 Ford Ranger being driven by 52-year-old Dawn A. Miller of Carbondale had been traveling eastbound in the right lane of Colorado 82.
“The vehicle collided with the pedestrian in the right lane of Colorado 82, which resulted in the pedestrian being thrown off the right side of the roadway.”
Kania died from injuries she suffered in the accident. The Eagle County Coroner’s Office was called to the scene.
Miller was able to bring her vehicle to a controlled stop on the right shoulder of the roadway after the impact. She was not injured in the crash. Capt. Rich Duran, of the State Patrol, said Miller was not suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The State Patrol launched an extensive investigation that continued into the morning rush hour. Duran said there are several aspects to the incident that investigators are probing. They will work with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority to determine if Kania exited a bus in that vicinity, he said. There are upvalley and downvalley bus stops in that area.
Investigators also are trying to determine if she was walking or standing in the highway and why she was in the through lane in an area where a bus lane and a turn lane for a nearby intersection provide alternatives.
“It’s a really huge roadway there,” Duran said. “What places her in (that lane) at 1:50 in the morning?”
It is believed that Kania was alone at the time of the accident. It is unknown at this point if there were drugs or alcohol in her system, Duran said. An autopsy will be performed.
A statement from Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis’ office said there was heavy rain at the time of the accident. The State Patrol didn’t comment on road conditions in its preliminary report. Bettis also reported that Miller, the driver of the SUV, called 911.
Eastbound traffic was snarled until both lanes of Highway 82 were opened shortly before 9 a.m. Westbound traffic on Highway 82 was unaffected.
Eastbound traffic was diverted onto Willits Lane at the intersection that provides access to City Market and Whole Foods. Traffic rejoined Highway 82 at its intersection with Willits Lane and Two Rivers Road.