Plea deal reached in Barron Co. drunken hit-and-run case

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Barron County (WQOW) – A Barron man accused of hitting a man with his van in the early morning hours of August 2018 has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

Richard Olson of Rice Lake is charged with four 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 in the early morning hours of August 19, 2018 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.

On Friday, Olson pleaded guilty to hit-and-run causing great bodily harm and an amended count of operating a vehicle while revoked. The two other charges remain open and can be considered at his sentencing.

Olson faces a maximum penalty of 16 years in prison when he’s sentenced October 22.

Stephen Kelley

Stephen Kelley

Stephen Kelley joined the News 18 team in August 2006. He is currently the Executive Producer and an Evening Anchor.

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