While driving a tractor on a highway, Michael Olsen (defendant) pulled over to the side of the road to allow a car to pass him. Olsen then turned left to cross the highway. As he was crossing, Olsen collided with a car traveling eastbound on the highway, killing the driver of the car. The State of South Dakota (plaintiff) charged Olsen with second-degree manslaughter under South Dakota Codified Law § 22-16-20 for the reckless killing of the driver. South Dakota law provides that a person acts recklessly when he consciously and unjustifiably disregards a substantial risk. At the preliminary hearing, the highway patrol trooper who interviewed Olsen after the accident testified that Olsen said he did not see the vehicle before attempting the turn despite looking both ways. Olsen moved to dismiss the complaint. The magistrate granted the motion, finding that the evidence did not support the manslaughter charge. The state petitioned the court for permission to appeal the magistrate’s order. The South Dakota Supreme Court granted the petition.