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Bozeman man sentenced to prison in death of bicyclist

Bozeman man sentenced to prison in December death of bicyclist
Posted at 7:53 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 09:53:37-04

BOZEMAN — A man charged with striking and killing a woman on her bicycle as he was driving while intoxicated will spend the next eight years in prison.

Chad Basaites was sentenced this week to eight years in prison.

The Bozeman man hit and killed 25-year-old Alexa Dzintars while she was biking home along 19th Avenue from work back in December.

According to the court clerk, Basaites was also ordered to perform 250 hours of community service and go through an alcohol treatment program.

According to court documents, Basaites called 911 around 11:40 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, to report he had struck a bicyclist on North 19th Avenue at Rawhide Ridge Road.

A Bozeman police officer less than a block away arrived on scene and began to perform CPR on the woman, identified by Bozeman Police as Alexa Jane Dzintars.

Emergency responders pronounced Dzintars 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 holiday 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 in the right-hand lane when Dzintars suddenly appeared in front of him, in his lane, with no lights.

Police confirmed with MTN News they believe Dzintars was wearing a headlamp and had reflectors on her bike.

The reporting detective said in court documents evidence at the scene indicated Dzintars 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.