Basalt pedestrian who was struck on Highway 82 had BAC of .254

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times

Kathryn Kania, a Basalt woman who was struck and killed by a vehicle while she was standing on Highway 82, had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.254 percent at the time of the incident, according to Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis.

The accident happened at 1:50 a.m. on July 11 near the Aspen-Basalt Mobile Home Park, at mile marker 21. Kania, 53, died instantly from multiple injuries, Bettis said in her report. The manner of death was ruled an accident, she said. The results of the toxicology test became available Wednesday. No drugs were found in her system, Bettis said.

The Colorado State Patrol investigated the accident and determined Kania was standing in the right eastbound lane of Highway 82. She was facing west in the traffic lane, the report said. She was struck by a vehicle heading east. The driver was traveling below the speed limit of 55 mph at the time and had no responsibility for the accident, the State Patrol concluded.

The Basalt Police Department and the State Patrol investigated Kania’s whereabouts that night and determined she rode a bus from the Basalt parking lot on Highway 82 and met a friend in Snowmass Village for the weekly Thursday-night concert. Kania rode the bus home to Basalt and then drove to Stubbies bar in Basalt, according to the State Patrol report. A bartender at Stubbies told an investigator with the Basalt Police Department that Kania was “visibly intoxicated.”

“He stated that he served her one drink and then she attempted to leave,” the State Patrol report said. “He called 911 and would not let her leave. She eventually agreed to a ride with (another bar patron) and (the bartender) then called 911 to cancel the incoming officer(s).”

The Basalt officer talked to the Basalt man who provided the ride, and he confirmed that he dropped Kania off at her residence at Willits. Basalt Police Chief Greg Knott previously said Kania was dropped off at about 1:20 a.m. Knott said Kania made comments about wanting to retrieve her vehicle back in Basalt.

Kania’s home on Lakeside Drive in Willits was a short distance from Highway 82. The accident occurred less than 1 mile east of her residence. The State Patrol investigator concluded that Kania left her home and was walking back to Stubbies to retrieve her car. She is believed to have gone as far east as the intersection of Highway 82 and Willits Lane — east of the crash site — but she doubled back to the west for unknown reasons.

Another witness told a Basalt officer she was driving at about 1:45 a.m. when she stopped for a traffic signal at Highway 82 and Willits Lane. A female pedestrian tried to enter her car.

“She stated that the female attempted to open her door and frightened her so she drove off,” the State Patrol report said. “She stated that the woman was standing in the middle of the intersection, and that she thought that this was (Kania).”

The report continued: “The crash happened approximately five minutes after this incident, which means that Kania had likely been in the area attempting to get rides from other vehicles. She also may have been traveling back westbound either to go home, or because she was confused on which direction she was heading due to her intoxication.”


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