ND Highway Patrol
What: Vehicle struck a pedestrian and the vehicle fled the crash scene
Where: 400 block of 11th Ave S in Wahpeton, on the north side of the Wahpeton Airport
When: October 12th, 2023 @ approximately 7:40 pm
Road Conditions: Dry, dark, limited lighting
Type of Crash: Vehicle struck a pedestrian
Agencies Involved: NDHP, Wahpeton PD, NDSCS PD, Richland County SO, Wahpeton FD, Breckenridge/Wahpeton Ambulance, Sanford Life Flight
Vehicle No. 1: 2018 Chevrolet Silverado
Driver No. 1: Chad Olson, 52 YOA, Wahpeton, ND – not injured
Criminal Vehicular Injury and Leaving the Scene of an Injury Crash – both felony violations
Pedestrian: 20 YOA female, Wahpeton, ND – life threatening injuries
On October 12th, 2023 at approximately 7:40 pm, two adult females were walking eastbound on 11th Avenue South in Wahpeton, in the 400 block. The two pedestrians were walking along the south shoulder of the roadway.
A 2018 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Chad Olson was also eastbound on 11th Avenue South.
Olson struck one of the pedestrians, causing her to be thrown into the south ditch. After striking the pedestrian, Olson did not stop, but continued eastbound on 11th Avenue South and fled from the crash scene.
The second pedestrian was able to give a general description of the striking vehicle and direction of travel. Wahpeton PD canvassed the area and located several videos of the possible suspect vehicle, which provided additional information about the type of vehicle involved in the crash.
This information was provided to surrounding law enforcement agencies and to local media. The local media was able to place the information into the public realm quickly. Because of this, a tip was received by the Wahpeton PD which lead the Wahpeton PD to locate the Chevrolet parked in the driveway at a residence in Wahpeton. The vehicle had obvious damage and the driver of the vehicle was located at a nearby residence.
That driver, Chad Olson, was arrested for felony leaving the scene of an injury crash and felony criminal vehicular injury, which is an enhanced DUI charge. Olson was not injured in the crash.
The pedestrian, a 20 YOA female from Wahpeton, suffered life threatening injuries. She was transported by ambulance from the crash scene to St. Francis Hospital in Breckenridge, and then transported by Sanford Life Flight to Sanford Hospital in Fargo.
This crash remains under investigation by the North Dakota Highway Patrol and we are being assisted by the Wahpeton PD, NDSCS PD and Richland SO.
The NDHP would like to thank our local media partners for quickly disseminating the information about the crash and for the public that provided tips that lead to law enforcement locating the vehicle involved in the crash, which lead to locating the suspect as well.