- Essex District Attorney Paul F. Tucker made the announcement Friday, a little more than six months after Sidney Olson was struck on the streets of Andover
- The family is still pursuing civil charges against the driver, who hit her as she was walking to a class with a relative on May 9. Relatives said she had the ‘walk’ signal
- The often busy intersection gives pedestrians the right of way, but Essex County DA Paul F. Tucker Friday said the girl’s death was not the result of a criminal act
The driver of a Sysco truck that struck and killed a five-year-old girl earlier this year will not face criminal charges, prosecutors have announced.
Essex District Attorney Paul F. Tucker made the revelation Friday, a little more than six months after Sidney Olson was struck on the streets of small-town Massachusetts.
The family is still pursuing civil charges against the driver, who hit the child as she was walking to an art class with a relative in Andover on May 9.
Relatives said she had the ‘walk’ signal, but that the driver didn’t see the child when he moved forward when his light turned green.
The often busy intersection gives pedestrians the right of way, but Essex District Attorney Paul F. Tucker on Friday said the girl’s death was not the result of a criminal act.
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He said in a statement: ‘The investigative findings do not provide sufficient evidence to seek criminal charges against the driver of the tractor-trailer.’
Citing a ‘thorough and detailed’ police probe that included video from inside the food transport truck, he added: ‘The driver was stopped at the intersection.
‘As he began to advance forward on the light turning green, he was unable to see Ms. Olson traveling on her scooter in the crosswalk below.
‘The driver was not impaired by any substances and immediately came to a controlled stop after the collision.’
The DA’s office added that lawmen carried out toxicology screens on the driver and a mechanical inspection of he vehicle, after he immediately stopped to cooperate with cops.
Prosecutors also used several witness interviews when making their decision – after several described a female relative cradling the child’s lifeless body.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tucker’s statement did not release the driver’s name, as he does not face charges.
The Democrat did, however, tout how his office had shared the findings with the Olson family, whom he said were ‘relieved to reach closure in the criminal investigation.’
That said, a civil case on behalf of the family remains, after they released a statement explaining how the crash on the corner of Elm and Main Streets took place.
Issued in May, the statement recalled how the girl and another member of the family were traversing the crosswalk, with the walk sign showing, as they had ‘hundreds of times before.’
‘The rest was a blur,’ they said, before detailing how ‘Sidney was struck by a truck and killed, leaving an impossible void in our lives.’
Eric, Mary Beth, Sidney, and Ellis Olson proceeded to paint a picture of the youngster, describing her as a ‘fiercely creative’ explorer who enjoyed making art, picking flowers, and the music of Taylor Swift.
They wrote: ‘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.’
The family went on to echo long-held concerns about the intersection also aired by the community, calling it dangerous and in need of being fixed.
They 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.’
Still suing the Sysco Systems driver for negligence, the family on Friday thanked law enforcement and emergency responders for their ‘tough work’, even if it did not result in a charge.
They added that the decision to not bring charges ‘doesn’t change the terrible truth: The crash that killed Sidney, like 42,000 US traffic deaths last year, was preventable.’
The family stated: ‘That’s why on Sunday November 19, our charity, the Sidney Mae Olson Rainbow Fund, is calling for “Safe Streets for People” on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.’
The event, a run to be held on Thanksgiving, will serve to commemorate Sidney, the family said – after stating that their ‘greatest hope is that Sidney’s boundless love for everyone encourages others to look out for the common good of our community.’
As they continue to seek justice with their civil claim against the driver, the family offered one last tidbit about the their dearly departed daughter – after city officials said increased safety measures at the intersection are currently in the works.
They said of the youngster’s selfless demeanor: ‘For her last birthday, she wanted a rainbow theme because “it includes everyone’s favorite color.”‘
Family attorney Jennifer Denker added in her own statement that the ‘devastated’ family is ‘pursuing civil claims against the driver, as well as the trucking company that owned the truck in question.’
She wrote in an email that the driver’s tractor-trailer ‘was not equipped with the safety features available that could have saved Sidney’s life that fateful day.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to Sysco Systems for comment.