Drunk driver faces manslaughter charges for driving wrong way on freeway
SAN JOSE – 23-year-old Casey Matthew Olson of Mountain View was arrested under PC 191.5(a), gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, VC 21651 (c), driving the wrong way on a freeway, VC 23153 (a), Driving under the influence of alcohol while causing injury, and VC 23153 (b), driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs.
On Saturday, July 12 on southbound Highway 101 near Blossom Hill Road, Olson caused a collision while driving a Honda Odyssey minivan the wrong direction.
When the CHP officer arrived at the scene, he located the gray minivan with Olson, who appeared to be asleep inside. He asked Olson for his driver’s license, and he appeared to be reaching into his front pocket in search of it, but then he started to turn the ignition key to start the minivan.
The CHP officer told Olson to stop trying to start the minivan. He initiated an interview with Olson about the collision, who said, “I’m gonna be honest with you, I am straight drunk”. Olson also admitted to smoking marijuana sometime before drinking. When CHP officers asked Olson what he had been drinking, Olson said, “Hard liquor, Jack”. Olson then stated he had “four drinks” of hard alcohol before getting into his car to drive home, less than a half-hour before the accident.
Olson had hit several vehicles on the highway, eventually colliding with a silver Dodge Magnum head-on. A Honda Civic, a overturned Volkswagen Bug, and a chartered bus had all at one point collided with each other trying to avoid the wrong way driver. However, the silver Dodge, which was in the #4 lane, collided head-on with Olson, causing severe front end damage. The right front passenger, Christian Reyes, was still pinned inside the vehicle when CHP officers arrived at the scene. He had sustained severe injuries and was unconscious. The driver, Paul Deras Sanchez, had already gotten out of the vehicle. Olson appeared to have sustained injuries from his seat belt stretching from his waist reaching across his stomach to his upper chest.
When CHP officers told him that he was going to be arrested for DUI, Olson said, “That’s no surprise”.
This is not Olson’t first brush with the law. In 2009, while he was 18, he was arrested and charged with assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. This stemmed from an incident in which he and a friend were throwing hard, unripe lemons at a neighbor’s house. A 41-year-old woman who lived there was hit by one when she came outside just after midnight in November. The next year, in June he was arrested for petty theft, and in August for possession of marijuana. In February of 2011, after moving to an apartment, he was arrested for growing marijuana, possession of cannabis for sale and possession of concentrated cannabis.
After the accident, while they transported Olson to the Santa Clara Main Jail for booking, the EMS reported that the injured man, Christian Reyes, had succumbed to his injuries and passed away.
The next court hearing on this case is scheduled for August 6, 2014 in Dept 35 at 9:00 am at 190 W Hedding Street in San Jose.