Town Square

Post a New Topic


Original post made on Aug 5, 2008

It was 10 years ago this month that Jim Olson, a well-known Pleasanton landscaper, was driving the family van east on Interstate 80 with his wife Elaine at his side and two of their three children--Ashley, 14, and Lori, 11--in the two back seats. Halfway to their destination in Colorado, they ran into a sudden downpour at the eastern edge of Nevada. The van hydroplaned, Jim lost control and the vehicle rolled over twice before coming to a stop in a roadside ditch. Jim was killed instantly, Ashley, a freshman basketball star at Amador Valley high School, suffered a severed spine and was paralyzed from the waist down, Elaine suffered multiple injuries with Lori sustaining fewer but still serious broken bones and cuts. The three were airlifted by two helicopters to hospitals in Salt Lake City with Jim's body brought back to Pleasanton awaiting services. Kristina, then 19, had stayed home to attend classes at Diablo Valley College. She rushed to Salt Lake, where she spent a month nursing her mother and sisters and helping to buoy their spirits enough so that all could come back home. "She was the rock that kept us all going when we really didn't want to," her mother said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 25, 2008, 12:00 AM

Comments (1)

Like this comment
Posted by Cherrie Malone Vanlangendonck
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 5, 2008 at 11:12 pm

I had the pleasure of meeting the beautiful Ashley at Wente while visiting my Sister Connie. She made me feel right at home with her geniune kindness and I thought - wow she is so awesome. After a few meetings I feel I have a new friend,look forward to talking to her on the phone, and want to plan my next vacation around seeing her. The last thing I noticed about her was a wheelchair -subconsciencly however I was impressed at how she overcame "whatever happened" and excelled in life and was just Ashley. Your article made me realize what an ordeal these true life "Steel Magnolias" went through, and will always go through, and it makes me respect Ashley and her family even more. Pleasanton is also even more impressive as a community for pulling together and helping their own. Jim would be proud of all of the above. Cherrie from Louisiana

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Plenty of water that will cost more this year
By Tim Hunt | 2 comments | 724 views

Nominations due Monday for TV30’s Tri-Valley ‘Coach of the Year’ award
By Jeb Bing | 1 comment | 285 views


Readers' Choice Ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "Pleasanton Readers' Choice" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 21st. Stay tuned for the results in the June 23rd issue of the Pleasanton Weekly.