062719 CHA fatal Olsen obit pic

Shelby Olsen

CHARLESTOWN — A local woman died last week after the pickup truck she was driving crashed head-on into a tree on Shumankanuc Hill Road.

The woman, Shelby Olsen, 19, was trapped in the vehicle and suffered significant injuries in the June 20 crash, Charlestown police said in a press release on Wednesday. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The preliminary investigation indicates that speed and road conditions may have been a contributing factor," Lt. Philip Gingerella Sr. reported.

Olsen was born in Norwich, the daughter of Lola Grace Colette and Thomas Wayne Olsen, and was a 2018 graduate of Ledyard High School, according to her obituary. She had most recently been living in Charlestown and Gales Ferry.

Olsen had recently completed her freshman year at Emmanuel College in Boston, where she earned a spot on the dean's list both semesters and was a member of the women's soccer team. She had earned a 4.0 GPA in her first year while majoring in international affairs and communications, the school said.

The college released a statement on Saturday noting that Olsen was an active member of the Emmanuel community, taking part in mission and ministry activities, serving as a student leader for the Take48 Retreat, and working at the game room in St. Joseph's Hall.

The women's soccer coach, Greg Visinho, said, "Shelby was a bright light for our program and Emmanuel College. She embodied what it meant to be a Saint. My heart goes out to all her teammates, coaching staff, faculty, friends and family."

According to the accident report, police officers, firefighters and the Charlestown Ambulance Rescue Service were dispatched at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday to the scene of the accident on Shumankanuc Hill Road, in the area of Buckeye Brook Road. Officers arrived to find that the truck had left the roadway and struck large tree.

The arriving officer found that Olsen unconscious and tried to free her, but was unable to do so. Personnel with Charlestown Ambulance then arrived and took over medical care, but her injuries were too extensive and she was declared dead.

Gingerella said the crash remains under investigation by the Charlestown Police Department Accident Reconstruction Team.

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