S. Whidbey prosecutor: Suspected DUI crash investigation still underway
By MICHAELA MARX WHEATLEY
South Whidbey Record Island Life
June 25, 2008 · Updated 9:27 AM
Three months after a South End crash that allegedly involved high speed and alcohol, the Island County Prosecutors Office has not yet filed charges against the driver, a well-known South End business owner.
Leroy E. Olsen III, who has run fireworks shows on the South End, was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence following a crash on Goss Lake Road earlier this year.
Olsens passenger, Kim Blain of PayLess Foods in Freeland, was seriously injured in the crash.
The delay in the court proceedings had sparked some South End rumors that the two well-known South End business people were getting preferential treatment from law enforcement.
Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks said thats not true.
I cant control rumors, and Ive heard them going both ways, Banks said.
Its distressing that people think we would either prosecute or not prosecute for reasons other than the strength of the case and the protection of the public, he said.
Banks added that the delay is due to an extensive investigation.
We will treat the Olsen referral just like any other serious felony case. he said. It will get our careful review, but it will not be filed until the investigation is complete. We are awaiting follow-up investigation results.
Banks said he was not going to disclose what information was still needed, saying it may compromise the investigation.
The accident happened March 23 on Goss Lake and Traverse roads near Langley.
Washington State Patrol troopers said alcohol and excessive speed were factors in the crash.
Police said Olsen claimed he swerved to avoid hitting a deer.
Olsen, 47, of Freeland was driving a 2008 Audi R8 southbound on Goss Lake Road. As his car came around a left-hand bend, he lost control of the Audi and it left the road, according to a State Patrol incident report on the crash. The vehicle then hit a telephone poll before striking a tree, snapping a fir in half.
The car was smashed in about 18 inches on the passenger side, according to Washington State Patrol.
Blain, 43, of Greenbank, broke her pelvis bone and was rushed to Whidbey General Hospital. Olsen was also hurt and a bit shaken up.
Both Blain and Olsen were wearing their seat belts.
The State Patrol said officers observed evidence of alcohol at the scene and in the hospital. A blood draw was done, but law enforcement officials have not yet released the results.
Speed may also have been a factor in the accident.Contact South Whidbey Record Island Life Michaela Marx Wheatley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 221-5300.