News

Student Airlifted to Hospital After Car Accident

UPDATE: In an email to the Andover community on February 17, 2017, Dean of Students Jennifer Elliot ’94 wrote, “Maddie Stickley was released from the hospital this week, and she is now at home with her family.”

 

Maddie Stickley ’19 sustained severe injuries Monday evening after being struck by a car on the blinker-lit crosswalk between the Memorial Bell Tower and the West Quads.

At 6:35 p.m., Andover Police Department and Fire Rescue responded to a call reporting that a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle, according to a press release by the Andover Police Department (A.P.D.). Stickley was taken to the Doherty Middle School parking lot, where she was airlifted by medical helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital, according to the Eagle Tribune.

Stickley, as of Tuesday evening, is in stable condition, according to an email sent after the incident to students and faculty by Jennifer Elliott ’94, Dean of Students. Stickley’s parents and grandparents have joined her at the hospital, and her injuries have been reported as non-life-threatening.

Spencer Diminick ’20 witnessed the accident as he was going to squash practice.

“The car screeched to a stop, but I couldn’t see her because she was on the other side of the car and I was on the other side of the road already. Then people got out and I saw Mr. Doba run out of his car, and then all these people got out and then they pulled off to the side,” he said.

“Everyone started honking their horns as if someone hadn’t just been hit by a car. And then some house counselor ran out and was freaking out…I saw the girl try to lift up her head and [the house counselors] were like no, no don’t do that, keep it down on the ground. I heard the ambulances coming,” he continued.

Members of Stickley’s dorm, Johnson Hall, were informed of the accident at a dorm meeting at 10 p.m., according to Johnson resident Dani Valverde ’18. House counselors Kate Dolan, Cluster Dean of West Quad South, and Sandra Lopez-Morales ’97, Director of Psychological Services made themselves available in the dorm for emotional support.

“I first found out about the accident because a girl in the dorm had texted asking if everyone was okay… At first we didn’t know who it was and we were all checking with each other making sure everyone was okay,” said Valverde.

In the days following the accident, Stickley’s friends set up a table in the lobby of Paresky Commons, encouraging members of the community to sign cards with well wishes for Stickley. Reeve Sobol ’19, a friend of Stickley, was at the library when she heard about the crash 15 minutes after the accident had happened.

“Obviously, I was really freaked out. We didn’t know if she was okay. I called her and she didn’t answer, so we called some other people that are close friends with her. We were all trying to figure out what was going on, whether she was okay, whether she was at the hospital or not,” she said.

“I’ve talked to her a little bit through her mom, but I would tell her to take her time, to get better, to not feel pressured to get back on campus soon. And then to other people who’ve been joking around and like messing around on the crosswalks, be careful. It was definitely not her fault, she’s the most careful of any of us,” she continued.

Valverde said, “At first when I only knew that there had been a car accident and that someone from Johnson had gotten hit, it was so scary. It’s one of those things that you know happens, but until you’re connected to it in some way, it doesn’t feel very real. Now I’m really happy Maddie’s okay and I hope she gets better and can come back to Andover soon.”

Julia Pratt ’19, Stickley’s friend, said, “Maddie is someone who’s really reserved, but she’s a really fun person. She likes to roast all of her friends. She’s the type of friend who is really considerate and caring, and she just wants the best for everyone. It sounds really cliché, but she’s one of the most supportive people I know. And she can make a bad day good, which is something really unique about her.”

In her email, Elliott encouraged members of the Andover community to turn to each other for support as Stickley continues to recover.

“We know this has been a stressful evening for many of you. Please reach out to the adults around you, and take good care of each other and yourselves,” she wrote.

Since the accident and the initial email, Elliott has sent two additional emails, the first of which assured the Andover community that Stickley was settled at Massachusetts General and included a quote from her mother.

It read, “We are very grateful for the wondrous, caring support from the [Andover] community. Know that Maddie will be dancing and rowing and more in time.”

Elliott’s next email to the Andover community in response to this incident was a reaffirming of guidelines for safely crossing the roads. She implored students to hold each other accountable for following the guidelines and to look out for each others’ safety

Feb 3, 2017