The Feaster Five Road Race and the Sidney Mae Olson Rainbow Fund are partnering to honor the five-year-old who was hit and killed by a truck while crossing the street in Elm Square in May.
“We spend a lot of time talking about family, fitness and fun when it comes to the Feaster Five Road Race,” race founder Tom Licciardello said in a statement. “With the support of Sidney’s family, who have long been a part of the Feaster Five family, we want to keep Sidney and her beautiful spirit at the front of our minds.”
MaryBeth Ellis Olson, Sidney’s mother, is a triathlete and a coach for the Merrimack Valley Striders, which puts on the Thanksgiving Day 5k and 5-mile road races. The Feaster Five is one of the largest Thanksgiving Day turkey trots in the nation.
“We couldn’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate the spirit of our daughter Sidney – and to support our mission of creating communities where every child can reach their full potential with access to safe streets, early education, and kids running programs,” MaryBeth Ellis Olson said in a statement.
The Olson family joined a community-wide push calling for safety changes in Elm Square and other intersections in Andover in the weeks following the crash. Eric Olson, Sidney’s father, spoke at an Elm Square safety forum and a select board meeting where he asked Town officials to “commit to zero fatalities.”
“I think we’d all say no one should die in a crosswalk,” Olson said at the June 5 select board meeting. “No one should feel unsafe in a crosswalk.”
At Monday’s select board meeting, Town Manager Andrew Flanagan said Andover officials are reviewing a draft of MassDOT’s road safety audit of Elm Square. The Town says it cannot make changes to Elm Square signal timing or other safety improvements until the audit is finalized. The Town has scheduled a community forum to update residents on the process for Aug. 7 at a time and location to be announced.
The DA’s office issued the statement from the Olson family saying the signals showed it was safe to cross two days after the May 9 crash.
“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,” the family said last month. “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.”