ANDOVER, MASS. (WHDH) - An Andover couple is hoping to keep the legacy of their child alive after 5-year-old Sidney Olson was hit by a truck while crossing the street over the summer.
The crash happened in the Elm Square area of Andover back in May. Olson’s parents spoke to 7NEWS on Friday, remembering their daughter and discussing their efforts to prevent similar tragedies.
“I want Sidney’s life to really have meaning and for us, we think about her every day,” said Sidney’s mother, Mary Beth Ellis. “She’s in our hearts every day.”
“I miss her hug attacks,” said Sidney’s father, Eric Olson. “She would just jump up and wrap around me and I would do anything for that.”
Sidney’s parents have created a charity in her honor. Dubbed the Sidney Mae Olson Rainbow Fund, the organization is a new partner of Andover’s annual Feaster Five Road Race, which will feature a colorful display paying tribute to Olson on Thanksgiving next month.
The annual kids race on Thanksgiving day will also now be called “Sidney’s Rainbow Run,” recognizing the little girl who asked for a rainbow birthday party this year to include all her friend’s favorite colors.
“That was just who she was,” Eric Olson said. “I mean, she was just pure love and joy.”
“We really want to see Sidney’s spirit make an impact on the world and we’re sort of dedicating our lives to that,” Eric separately said.
Prosecutors announced Friday that the driver of the truck involved in the crash that killed Sidney will not face criminal charges.
Speaking later in the day, Eric Olson shared his thoughts.
“The fact that truck was where it was, that it didn’t have the safety features that it needed, that the intersection had problems, that’s all changeable,” he said.
The Sidney Mae Olson Rainbow Fund now aims to support children’s access to education, sports and road safety, working to raise awareness over pedestrian safety.
Ellis said the charity is working on these topics “so that this doesn’t happen to another family and they don’t have to sign their daughter’s death certificate.”
“We can’t bring Sidney back,” Ellis said. “But we can work, do our best and work to prevent any other children from being hit in an intersection.”
Moving forward, Sidney Olson remains a colorful spirit living on through the eyes of her parents and in the heartbeat of her community.
“We’ve got kind of a band rainbow warriors that are out there and we’re just super grateful for that,” Eric Olson said.
The upcoming race now named for Sidney Olson is scheduled for Thursday in downtown Andover
Sunday, meanwhile, is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Sidney’s family said they are hoping people remember these victims are far more than just a number.
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