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August 26, 2014
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State police: Basalt driver in fatal Highway 133 crash likely faces charges

The Colorado State Patrol has released the names of three people who were involved in a fatal two-vehicle accident on Highway 133 north of Redstone on Saturday night.

Meleyna Kistner, 21, of Naperville, Illinois, was killed in the crash, which the State Patrol said occurred around 9 p.m. near mile marker 56. Her social-media pages describe her as a recent student in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The State Patrol said Kistner was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier in the southbound lane of the highway when her vehicle was hit head-on by a 2010 Honda hatchback driven by Christine Tinner, 46, of Basalt. Tinner’s Honda had been traveling north but crossed into the southbound lane before striking Kistner’s vehicle, police said.

Tinner likely faces charges in the incident, State Patrol spokesman Trooper Nate Reid said Monday. He declined to elaborate on the charges, saying that Tinner had not yet been cited or arrested.

“She will probably be charged (Tuesday),” Reid said.

Just before midnight Saturday, less than three hours after the accident, the State Patrol issued a statement that said neither alcohol nor drugs were being considered as contributing factors in the crash.

Kistner was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Her passenger, Daniel Thul, 22, of Bloomington, Illinois, was transported to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs with serious injuries. Thul’s status as a hospital patient was not available Monday. His social-media pages also list him as having been a student in Terre Haute.

Tinner also was taken to Valley View Hospital for treatment of serious injuries, police said. Her condition was unavailable Tuesday. A hospital supervisor would not say whether Tinner and Thul had been released from the Glenwood Springs health care facility.

Highway 133 was closed for approximately two hours because of the crash, police said. The road was dry and the weather was clear at the time of the accident, authorities said.

The Highway 133 accident occurred less than fours hours after a fatal two-vehicle crash on Highway 82 near Basalt. The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office on Monday identified the victim as 53-year-old Patrick Thomas Dunn, who was killed when the 2002 Ducati 900 motorcycle he was riding reportedly was struck by a 2003 Ford Focus driven by John M. Walls Jr., 88, of Carbondale.

The Ford Focus was traveling east when it crossed over into the westbound lane 1 mile west of Basalt and hit the motorcycle at around 5 p.m., police said.

Walls was taken into custody soon after the collision and booked into the Pitkin County Jail later Saturday night. He faces three charges: careless driving causing death, a misdemeanor; reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor; and a traffic-lane violation.

A Pitkin County jailer said Walls was released from custody Sunday afternoon after posting $2,000 bond. His first court appearance has been set for Sept. 16.

Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, according to police records filed in Pitkin County Court.

The Pitkin County Coroner’s office said Dunn died from multiple injuries. The manner of death was an accident. Authorities initially said Dunn was from Aspen. The coroner’s office clarified that he was from Basalt.

andre@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Aug 26, 2014 08:25AM Published Aug 26, 2014 06:18AM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.