For someone waiting to learn whether he would be charged with a series of felonies, Cody Olson didnt change his lifestyle much after Marchs tragedy on the I-184 Connector in Boise, Ada County prosecutors say.
According to court testimony and records obtained by the Idaho Statesman, the 20-year-old Olson told Meridian police in June that he was still smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol; told friends that he had gotten a new car he was souping up, even though he hasnt had a valid license to drive since at least January; and didnt show up for a court hearing after being cited for being at a residence where drugs were sold.
After his arrest Monday night, Olson was in the Ada County Jail on three felony counts related to the crash: two for vehicular manslaughter and one for injury to child.
If he posts a $150,000 bond to get out he was still in jail as of early Tuesday evening he will have to wear an alcohol monitoring device and take random drug tests, and he wont be able to drive under any circumstances. If a jury finds him guilty of all charges, Olson could spend the next four decades in prison.
Ada County prosecutors say Olson was intoxicated and had been smoking marijuana when he raced another car before losing control of a 2002 Lexus sedan and smashing into a concrete wall off the Curtis Road exit ramp March 3.
The force of the impact immediately killed backseat passenger Scott R. Hyde, 18. Another backseat passenger, 18-year-old Kelsey Belcher, died a week later. Olson and two others Jasmine Ondrick and 19-year-old Nick Hendriksen were badly injured.
Olson and Hendriksen suffered traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and other injuries, and were hospitalized for months. Ondrick, Olsons girlfriend, was the only one wearing a seat belt. She still suffered a collapsed lung and broken bones, and spent two weeks in the hospital.
Nick Hendriksen had the most serious injuries of the three survivors, his father told the Statesman in June. Donald Hendriksen said his son lost a significant amount of blood and was in the hospital for 54 days. He is now slowly improving.
An Idaho Vehicle Collision Report filed with the Idaho Transportation Department says a blood test showed that Olson was under the influence of marijuana and had a .07 blood alcohol content about an hour after the crash. The legal limit is .08, but according to Idaho law, someone younger than 21 with a BAC above .02 can be charged with a DUI.
The felony injury to child charge is for injuries suffered by Ondrick, who was 17 when the crash occurred.
Olson was stoic and kept a blank expression on his face at his initial court appearance Tuesday. The only time he spoke was when he told a magistrate judge that he understood the charges against him. Olsons parents declined comment when it was over.
Prosecutors cited Olsons behavior since the crash when seeking a bond of $250,000, which the judge ultimately lowered.
Mark Manweiler, Olsons attorney, argued that amount to be too high. Manweiler said Olson splits his time between his mothers and fathers homes in Boise and Meridian and is still recovering from his injuries.
Olson sustained traumatic brain injury; broke ribs, his pelvis and a jaw; and suffered two collapsed lungs, his attorney said. He hasnt been able to return to his job at a call center.
Manweiler also said Olson still needs some surgery and is working to finish his last semester of high school through online courses.
Manweiler also noted that the Olson family is still reeling from the death of Codys older brother, Seth, who died Feb. 1 in a crash in Montana as he was returning from Williston, N.D., where he worked in the oil fields.
Manweiler said the alcohol monitoring device and random drug and alcohol tests would be fair, but said a more appropriate bond would be in the $10,000 range.
Idaho court records show that Olsons drivers license had already been suspended at the time of the crash because of previous traffic citations. He received four citations including two speeding tickets between October and March, according to court records.
Olson was still in the hospital on March 6 and missed a hearing on a charge of driving without a valid license on Feb. 14. He was arrested on a warrant for failing to appear and briefly booked into the jail early this summer. Ondrick posted the bond to get Olson out of jail, court records show.
Olson got in trouble again June 29, when Meridian police got a warrant to search a home in the 2600 block of South Spring Bar Way, near Locust Grove and Victory roads. Police were responding to complaints about possible drug sales there, Meridian Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea said.
Officers found Olson in the home, where they also found 300 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. They charged 19-year-old Travis Waggaman with trafficking.
Olson was cited for frequenting a place where drugs were sold. He was supposed to be in court Aug. 8 but never showed up, according to records.
When he was arrested on the manslaughter and other charges Monday, he also was cited for failure to appear for missing the Aug. 8 court date.
NIGHT OF THE CRASH
All five teens involved in the fatal crash were students or former students of Mountain View High School in Meridian.
Police say Olson and Hendriksens brother, Nathan, who was driving a BMW, were racing at speeds of 80 mph to 100 mph after leaving a party in Southeast Boise.
Prosecutors told a judge Monday that four to five witnesses saw the Lexus and BMW driving near each other on the Connector. Ondrick told police that Olson had the Lexus going as fast as 120 mph and went over to the Curtis Road ramp shortly after driving by a state trooper whose vehicle was parked along the interstate spur.
The Boise City Attorneys Office said Tuesday that it doesnt have enough physical evidence or witness testimony to charge Nathan Hendriksen in connection with the case.
Police investigators also talked to witnesses but were not able to confirm where the group was drinking the night of the crash or where the teens received alcohol, so no charges have been filed in that regard, police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said.
Patrick Orr: 377-6219, Twitter: @IDS_Orr