Police trace Basalt woman’s steps on night of fatal pedestrian accident
Ryan Summerlin July 25, 2014
A midvalley resident who was struck and killed by a vehicle on Highway 82 this month had received a ride home from a Basalt bar earlier in the night, but she told her driver that she wanted to retrieve her car, according to a Basalt police investigation.
Kathryn Kania was dropped off at her house on Lakeside Drive at Willits at approximately 1:20 a.m. July 11, according to the Basalt police report. A different vehicle fatally hit Kania roughly 30 minutes later while she was standing in an eastbound lane of Highway 82, according to the Colorado State Patrol. Emergency dispatchers received the call of the accident at 1:53 a.m.
“It’s an unfortunate incident,” Basalt Police Chief Greg Knott said.
Kania, 53, was a well-known massage therapist and craniosacral specialist who had offices in Basalt and Aspen.
The man who provided the ride told police Kania talked about wanting to retrieve her car, but he left her at her residence, according to the Basalt Police report.
A Basalt police officer was first on the scene of the accident. The department asked the State Patrol to investigate because of its expertise with traffic incidents, Knott said. The Police Department focused on where Kania had been that night, he said.
The investigation showed that Kania parked her vehicle at the Basalt bus parking lot along Highway 82, across from The Basalt Store. She took a bus to the Intercept Lot at Highway 82 and Brush Creek Road, where she met a female friend. The friend drove them to Snowmass Village for the weekly outdoor concert. It was a rainy evening, so Kania and her friend visited a “couple” of bars and restaurants in the village, according to Knott.
The friend drove Kania back to the Intercept Lot later in the night and Kania took a bus back to Basalt, the investigation showed.
“She drove from the (Basalt) parking lot to a restaurant-bar in Basalt,” Knott said. The investigation indicated that was sometime after midnight, he said. Knott declined to name the establishment.
“She went into that establishment and was given a ride to her residence on Lakeside,” Knott said.
Kania was acquainted with the man who gave her a ride, but Knott said he wouldn’t characterize them as friends. When asked why she was given a ride, Knott replied, “From speaking to some individuals, it appeared she was intoxicated.”
The man who provided the ride told police Kania talked about wanting to retrieve her car, but he left her at her residence, according to Knott. Kania’s actions after she was dropped off are unknown, but Knott noted it is a short distance from her residence to Highway 82. The site of the accident was about 1 mile from her home.
The State Patrol determined the driver of the vehicle who hit Kania had no responsibility for the accident. The driver was traveling east at an estimated speed of 45 mph in a 55-mph zone, according to the State Patrol report. The road condition was wet and it was raining at the time, the report said. Kania was standing and facing west in the righthand, eastbound lane of Highway 82, according to the report. She was killed at the scene.
The Basalt Police Department is awaiting results of a toxicology report on Kania before it wraps up its investigation, Knott said. That report is expected by the end of next week.