The Essex County District Attorney’s Office released a statement Thursday from the family of Sidney Olson, the five-year-old killed after being hit by a truck in Elm Square Tuesday.

The statement, which the family said would be its only public comment, described Sidney as “a bright-eyed, energetic girl with springy curls” who asked for a rainbow theme on her last birthday because “it includes everyone’s favorite color.”

Sidney was hit while walking with her family to an art class on Main Street. The statement (below) said she and one other family member were in the crosswalk after the Walk sign turned on.

“As long-time residents of the neighborhood, we’ve followed that route hundreds of times before,” the Olson family said. “The rest was a blur, and Sidney was struck by a truck and killed, leaving an impossible void in our lives.”

The family called for safety improvements in Elm Square.

Latest developments:

  • There is increasing pressure on officials to improve Elm Square safety.
  • So far, no charges have been filed against the Sysco truck driver, who stayed on scene and cooperated with investigators.
  • South Church in Andover is organizing a vigil for 5 p.m. Thursday. Andover News will honor organizers’ request for no media coverage.
  • WalkBikeAndover is circulating a petition asking the Town to make immediate safety improvements in Elm Square. The petition had 1,000 signatures as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, making it one of the most signed petitions on Change.org, which allows people to start online petitions on a wide range of issues.
  • Town Manager Andrew Flanagan said the initial work will include “engaging a consultant and begin data collection.”

“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,” the Olsons said. “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”

South Church in Andover is organizing a vigil for Sidney at 5 p.m. Thursday. Andover News will honor organizers’ request for no media coverage.

“All in the community are welcome at South Church for a 30-minute vigil,” the church said. “The vigil will be a space for music, prayers, and silence as we share our collective grief in the Andover community. All in the community are welcome, so invite your neighbors to join us. Your heart is tied to all of the hearts of this community.”

The Olsons said Sidney was creative, filling their home “with her brand of abstract art” and styling her own outfits.

“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,” the family said. “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.

Photo: Olson Family/Essex County District Attorney

Full statement released by the Essex County District Attorney:

The following statement has been issued by the family of Sidney Olson, 5, of Andover, who died in the pedestrian collision in Andover on Tuesday:

“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.”

Eric, Mary Beth, Sidney, and Ellis Olson

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