BOZEMAN — Family and friends of Alexa Jane Dzintars, a Bozeman woman who died after being hit by a car last week, continue to honor her memory.
It happened on Saturday, December 14 on North 19th Avenue and Rawhide Ridge, just north of town.
Bozeman police say Chad Basaites had left a company Christmas party after drinking several beers when he hit 25-year-old Dzintars from behind while she was riding her bike off the right shoulder.
Now, the community is paying tribute to her.
Flowers, notes, and a “Ghost Bike” are placed at the intersection where she died. Alexa's friends say they remember her as a bright mind, an artist, and always smiling. While they are still grieving and chose not to speak on-camera, they say they'll remember her kindness. And in a post from her workplace - Bozeman restaurant - co-workers say she was “adored.”
Basaites has been charged with vehicular homicide with his bail set at $50,000.
DECEMBER 17, 2019) According to court documents, Basaites called 911 around 11:40 p.m. Saturday to report he had hit a bicyclist on N. 19th Avenue at Rawhide Ridge Road. A Bozeman police officer less than a block away arrived and began to perform CPR on the woman. Emergency responders pronounced her dead at approximately 11:50 p.m. A second officer reportedly interviewed Basaites at the scene, who said he had consumed “three or four” drinks at a Christmas party that evening. The officer noted that Basaites had red eyes and was slurring his words and swaying.
Court documents say Basaites’ performance on field sobriety tests indicated he was under the influence. He allegedly refused a breath test and was then arrested and taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center. Police were granted a search warrant to draw a blood sample from Basaites.
Basaites told officers he was headed north on 19th Avenue in the right-hand lane when the woman suddenly appeared in front of him, in his lane, with no lights. The reporting detective said in court documents that evidence at the scene indicated the woman was riding on the shoulder, to the right of the fog line. Evidence from Basaites’ vehicle reportedly indicated that he was driving on the shoulder, outside the normal lane of travel at the point of impact.
Dzintars was riding her bike on the shoulder on the right side of the white line when a man driving a Jeep crossed that line and hit her.
According to court documents, Basaites was driving after leaving a company Christmas party, eventually telling police he had three or four drinks.
Alexa's friends say they remember her as a bright mind, an artist, and always smiling. While they are still grieving and chose not to speak on-camera, they say they'll remember her kindness. And in a post from her work at a Bozeman restaurant, co-workers say she was “adored.”
Police say Basaites told them the bicyclist had appeared in front of him. When investigators looked at marks in his car and on the road, court documents show Alexa was where she needed to be -- on the right side of the line. Police say evidence shows the passenger side of Basaites' car had been off the road on the shoulder. Investigators say Dzintars had reflectors, and was believed to be wearing a headlamp.
If convicted of vehicular homicide while under the influence, Basaites could face up to 30 years in prison