Robert Olson Booking Photo.tif

A Siren man was charged with homicide by vehicle – use of controlled substance last year. Now he has a plea hearing set for March 2.

Robert Olson, 55, Siren, was charged for allegedly causing the death of Jerald. S. Mechelke in September 2019 with homicide by vehicle, a class D felony. If convicted he faces $100,000 in fines or 25 years in prison, or both.

Olson is also facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, his second possession of THC offense and four counts of felony bail jumping.

According to the criminal complaint, Burnett County Dispatch reported a person was hit by a car on Highway 35 in Siren in front of the Dollar General. A Siren Police officer went to the scene and saw a green SUV parked in the north bound lane in front of South Shore Drive. A St. Croix Tribal Police officer and a Burnett County Sheriff’s Deputy were already there.

The officer then began taking witness statements as the sheriff’s deputy began directing traffic. One of the witnesses told the officer “a little dog ran across the highway.” The little dog was followed by a man and then that man was allegedly hit by a vehicle.The complaint continues to explain the officer was told who the suspected driver was.

Olson allegedly said he was driving the car that hit the man.

Olson continued to tell the officer he was driving north on Highway 35 and said he didn’t see the pedestrian crossing the road.

The complaint states, “(Olson) didn’t see him until he hit the hood and windshield then rolled off. The driver (Olson) said he didn’t know where the guy came from.”

Olson told the officer he had not consumed any alcohol or any prescription drugs.

When asked if Olson had any nonprescription drugs, like marijuana, Olson said no.

The Siren Officer then spoke to Siren Police Chief Chris Sybers. Sybers said Olson’s vehicle smelled of marijuana and allegedly found suspected marijuana in a grinder.

Olson was then handcuffed and taken to Burnett Medical Center for a blood draw.

Olson was previously convicted of possession of THC in relation to a 2006 felony case.