Guilty Verdict: Grand Island Man Convicted of Murder and Assault After Fatal Crash

Buffalo, New York – The jury has reached a verdict in the case of 44-year-old Ronald F. Olson, II of Grand Island. Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Keane announced that Olson has been found guilty of Murder in the Second Degree, along with several other charges. The decision came after a five-day trial and approximately 8 hours of deliberation.

The incident took place on March 20, 2023, when Olson approached a Jeep Liberty at a gas station in Buffalo. After trying to sell clothing to the occupants, Olson became involved in a high-speed chase with the vehicle. In a reckless act, Olson hit the driver’s side of the Jeep with his truck, causing it to crash into a light pole and tree, resulting in the death of the driver, 18-year-old Jarel Buchanan, and serious injuries to the four passengers.

Olson now faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Acting DA Keane expressed the tragic consequences of Olson’s actions, emphasizing that no one should lose their life over an article of clothing. The conviction of Olson on all counts in the indictment is seen as a form of justice for the victims and their families.

The prosecution credits Detective Mark White and the Buffalo Police Department Accident Investigation Unit for their thorough work in the investigation. The case was handled by Chief Paul J. Glascott of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Marino of the Felony Trials Bureau.

The sentencing for Olson is scheduled to take place before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi on August 20, 2024. As the legal proceedings move forward, the community seeks closure and hopes for a fair outcome that reflects the severity of the crimes committed. The lasting impact of this tragic event serves as a reminder of the importance of accountability and justice in society’s pursuit of safety and order.