Coroner: Woman hit by bus near Aspen had 0.298 BAC
Aspen CO Colorado
ASPEN – A woman who was struck and killed while walking on the bus lane of Highway 82 near Aspen early on New Year’s Day had a blood-alcohol content of 0.298 percent, the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office said Wednesday.
Joanie Kocab, 29, of Basalt, was walking upvalley in the bus lane near the east end of the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport runway and just downvalley from the Owl Creek Road intersection early the morning of Jan. 1. She was killed when she was struck from behind by a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus headed upvalley.
Pedestrians don’t typically walk in that area. The bus driver reported to the Colorado State Patrol that she didn’t see the pedestrian. A pedestrian/bike path parallels the highway on the opposite side of the road, but there was no shoulder where Kocab was walking, and a guardrail leaves no space to walk off to the side of the pavement.
Kocab had moved to the Aspen area less than a month before the accident and was unlikely to be familiar with the area. Her blood-alcohol content was nearly three times Colorado’s legal threshold for driving under the influence.
Kocab allegedly took a bus from the Aspen area to Basalt with her boyfriend on New Year’s Eve. Investigators have been trying to piece together how she wound up walking on the highway around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 1. Her boyfriend said they parted ways in Basalt.
The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office is in receipt of the accident report, prepared by the Colorado State Patrol, but has made no indications whether it plans to charge the driver criminally. The earliest that decision will come is likely in mid-March, prosecutor Arnold Mordkin said Wednesday.
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