Barron man charged after drunken hit-and-run

Barron County (WQOW) – A Barron man is out on signature bond Monday after allegedly hitting a man with his van in the early morning hours Sunday while intoxicated. 

Richard Olson of Rice Lake is charged with three felonies including operating while intoxicated causing injury second offense and hit and run causing great bodily harm. 

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to Jaybirds Bar in Rice Lake around 2:40 Sunday morning for a car versus pedestrian crash. The victim told police he stepped out in front of a white van thinking it was his taxi when it revved its engine and hit him.

A video of the event shows the victim flipping over the van. The victim had chipped teeth, road rash on his knee, along with multiple cuts on both hands. The van had left the scene but was pulled over shortly after. 

Olson, the driver, denied hitting anybody, but his passenger told police he did. Police say both people in the van were highly intoxicated and couldn’t answer basic questions. Open beer cans were found in the cup holders as well as a cooler full of beer and alcohol in the back. 

The van’s windshield was cracked and the officer could clearly see hand smudges on the windshield as well as drag marks. Olson’s BAC was 0.157.

Olson has three prior alcohol-related convictions on his record. 

As part of his signature bond, the judge ordered Olson to submit to daily breath testing at the Barron County courthouse. 

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