ANDOVER, MASS. (WHDH) - The family of a 5-year-old girl who was struck and killed while using a crosswalk in Andover on Tuesday is sharing details on the child’s life, her passions and hobbies, and the “impossible void” that has been left following her loss.
The family of Sidney Mae Olson released a statement on Thursday afternoon that recounted what led up to what they are calling a pedestrian collision.
In the statement, the Olsons described how their family was walking to an art class on Main Street at the time, and how Sidney and another family member were using the crosswalk on Elm Street when the tragedy occurred.
Describing the 5-year-old as bright-eyed and energetic, with springy curls, a love for nature and Taylor Swift songs, the family requested privacy as they continue to mourn the loss of Sidney.
The update came as a memorial for the child continued to grow in size at the intersection of Main and Elm streets. No charges have been filed against the driver involved in the crash, according to officials, with the Essex County District Attorney’s Office saying their investigation was active and ongoing.
Community members later gathered at the South Church in Andover Thursday afternoon to pause and pray as part of a vigil.
The Olson family’s full statement can be found below:
“We recognize there is media interest in the tragic incident that occurred Tuesday night in Andover. As a family, we’ve prepared the following short statement on the child involved, Sidney Mae Olson. This is the only statement we’ll make, and hope that the media will respect our privacy at this unbelievably hard time.
On Tuesday night, our family was walking to art class on Main Street in Andover. Our five-year-old daughter, Sidney, and one other family member traversed the cross walk on Elm Street, as the Walk sign showed it was still safe to cross. As long-time residents of the neighborhood, we’ve followed that route hundreds of times before. The rest was a blur, and Sidney was struck by a truck and killed, leaving an impossible void in our lives.
Sidney was a bright-eyed, energetic girl with springy curls. She was in the Springboard to Kindergarten program at SHED school in Andover, where she was known for her soft-spoken curiosity, and her budding ability to deescalate conflict and find common ground in groups.
She was fiercely creative, styling her own outfits, choreographing elaborate performances, and filling our home with her unique brand of abstract art, unlike anything we’ve seen. She picked flowers everywhere she went, often plucking a rose from the garden in front of Enterprise Bank, despite her parents’ objections. She memorized every lyric to a dozen Taylor Swift songs, gladly taking the microphone to sing along in crowded karaoke sessions.
She was an explorer, whether she was roaming the mountains near our Warren, Vermont home in search of porcupine tracks, or circling the New England Aquarium, sea life book in tow, circling her favorites from splashy stingrays to the sleepy octopus.
For her last birthday, she wanted a rainbow theme because ‘it includes everyone’s favorite color.’
Our greatest hope is that Sidney’s boundless love for everyone encourages others to look out for the common good of our community following this tragedy. This intersection has long been considered dangerous. While we’re not engineers, we also know our community can do better. We hope the town makes fast changes to that and other high-traffic intersections so no one has to experience the pain we feel right now.”
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