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    Saturday, September 30, 2023

    Stonington police charge man in Piver hit-and-run case, release timeline of investigation

    Stonington Police booking photo of Jonathan Olsen, who was charged June 5, 2023, with evading responsibility in connection with the March 6 fatal hit-and-run crash that killed bicyclist Gary Piver.

    Stonington ― Police on Monday charged a local man with felony evading responsibility in connection with the March 6 fatal hit-and-run crash that killed bicyclist Gary Piver.

    Jonathan Olsen, 41, of 33 Shawondassee Drive turned himself in to the police department at 9:30 a.m. on an arrest warrant charging him with evading responsibility resulting in a death/serious injury. He was released on a court-set bond of $100,000 and is scheduled to appear in New London Superior Court June 15.

    Piver, 69, a lifelong resident of Stonington and longtime custodian at the high school, was riding his bicycle westbound with traffic on Route 1 at 10:44 p.m. on March 6 when he was struck by a dark gray Toyota SUV traveling west.

    The SUV fled after hitting Piver in the area of a small commercial building at 210 South Broad St. that houses three business just west of the high school. Westerly Ambulance took Piver to Westerly Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He would have turned 70 the next day on March 7.

    Police had announced in April that they had “a person of interest” in the investigation and, according to a timeline released by the department, an arrest warrant for Olsen was submitted to the court May 15. The timeline detailed various steps in the police investigation since the March 6 fatal crash.

    Police obtained video and audio surveillance footage from 22 cameras from 13 businesses and three residences in both Stonington and Westerly. Police interviewed witnesses and identified the suspect car as a Toyota 4-Runner. The car was identified and seized from Olsen’s residence two days after the crash on March 8.

    Police review of the surveillance footage and collection of evidence took several weeks before an arrest warrant was submitted, according to the timeline.

    The case had generated strong interest in town, as residents questioned why the arrest had not been made after police had identified the vehicle and announced “a person of interest” had been identified in mid-April.

    Police Deputy Chief Todd Olson, not related to the suspect, said in a news release announcing the arrest Monday that he was proud of the investigative work done by Stonington patrol and detective police officers.

    “The Stonington Police Department’s Detective Division along with our Patrol Division spent countless hours investigating and preparing an arrest warrant in the tragic fatal accident that took place on 3/6/23,” Olson wrote in the news release. “We are aware that these cases have a large impact on our community and our residents want answers and information immediately. We fully understand that it's imperative to keep the public informed but we also have to find the balance that will still allow us to provide a strong case to move forward with.”


    Stonington Police Hit and Run Investigation Timeline

    Victim: Gary Piver

    Accused: Jonathan Olsen

    RTE 1 (South Broad ST) at the Anguilla Brook Bridge


    •Accident occurred 03/06/2023 at 2241 hours

    •Off. Sundman discovers accident scene 2244 hours and provides life saving care to Piver along with other SPD Officers before passing care to EMS.

    •Southeastern Connecticut Regional Traffic Unit responds to document accident scene

    •Seized vehicle parts from scene to determine suspect MV is a 2014-2022 Toyota 4-Runner, color dark gray

    •A BOLO is broadcast to area law enforcement

    •Piver is pronounced deceased at 2346 hours


    •Physical evidence is collected from the accident scene

    •Process of obtaining surveillance footage, both video and audio, to identify and trace suspect and suspect Toyota 4-Runner begins. The collection of this evidence began immediately, but took several weeks to finish. In all, approximately 13 local businesses provided surveillance footage on approximately 22 different cameras, 3 different residential cameras were used, and both the Town’s of Westerly, Rhode Island and Stonington contributed surveillance footage.


    •Stonington Police Department license plate reader technology is used to obtain owner information for the suspect Toyota 4-Runner.

    •Suspect Toyota 4-Runner is located and seized from suspect Jonathan Olsen at his residence 33 Shawondassee DR, Stonington, Connecticut.


    •A witness is located via video surveillance and written statement taken


    •Search and seizure warrant is served upon the suspect Toyota 4-Runner and the vehicle is documented and evidence collected.


    •A witness is located using Stonington Police Department LPR technology and a written statement is obtained

    •Evidence is obtained from the Rhode Island Office of the Chief Medical Examiner


    •Evidence seized from suspect Toyota 4-Runner is transported to the State of Connecticut Forensic Laboratory for analysis


    •A search and seizure warrant is served upon the suspects cell phone records


    •A witness is located through investigation and a written statement is obtained


    •A witness is located using video surveillance and a written statement is taken


    •Arrest warrant is submitted to court for suspect Olsen

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