DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Richard Olson, the mayor of Des Moines from 1972 to 1979, has died in a car crash. He was 85.
Olson’s wife, Cleojean, tells The Des Moines Register that the former city leader was killed Tuesday night in a two-vehicle crash in Maine. Police say his vehicle crossed a road’s center line and hit another car. Both the driver and passenger of that vehicle were also killed.
Gov. Terry Branstad said in a public statement Wednesday that Olson, a two-term mayor, was a dedicated public servant. He is credited with ushering in downtown development during his tenure, including the creation of the city’s botanical center and skywalk system.