Ronald Richard Olson III of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested on July 3 for allegedly driving drunk and causing a crash that killed Robin Kirsch and injured her three children, police said.
Olson, 38, was charged with DUI manslaughter, DUI causing injuries or property damage, and child neglect. Attorney information wasn’t available.
According to Boynton Beach Police, the alleged incident occurred just before 6 p.m. on May 19 in Boynton Beach. Olson, who was reportedly driving a Honda Civic, drove through a stop sign at the intersection of Seacrest Boulevard and SE Fourth Avenue and crashed into a 2015 GMC Arcadia SUV.
Kirsch, 37, was a front-seat passenger in Olson’s vehicle; the nature of their relationship is not specified in reports. She was rushed to Delray Medical Center, where she later died as a result of her injuries. Her three children, who were also in the vehicle at the time of the crash, suffered non-life threatening injuries. Olson was taken to Bethesda Hospital East.
The driver of the SUV, identified as Mirlene Alexis, was uninjured, but a child in her vehicle was taken to the hospital.
A witness told investigators that Olson had just left his home after drinking five or six beers in the hour he was there. The witness believed Olson had had too much to drink and was too drunk to drive. The witness reportedly yelled at Olson to stop before he left, but Olson allegedly sped west on SE Fourth Avenue.
When interviewed by police officers at the hospital, Olson reportedly admitted to having only two or three beers before he started driving. He told the officers that he remembered stopping at the stop sign before the crash. The officers noted that they could smell alcohol on his breath, his eyes appeared glassy, and his speech slurred.
Olson refused to consent to a blood-alcohol test. He allegedly told the officers that they “could take him to jail” because he wasn’t going to provide a blood sample. He was uncooperative with hospital staff and told them he “was not going to provide his blood calmly,” according to the report.
Police were able to obtain a warrant from a Palm Beach County judge that allowed them to get a blood sample against Olson’s will because of “exigent circumstances.” Olson’s BAC was purportedly .259, which is more than three times above the legal limit in Florida.
Drunk driving is a serious problem in the U.S. According to the CDC, 29 people are killed every day in motor vehicle crashes that involve a drunk driver.
In 2016, over 10,000 people died as a result of DUI crashes, accounting for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the country. That same year, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for DUI offenses. That number makes up just 1% of the 111 million self-reported episodes of drunk driver among U.S. adults.
Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorney