Lincolnshire

Eliza Bill death: Pupil 'ran into road holding friend's hand'

Eliza Bill, 16, Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Eliza Bill's family described her as "a beautiful soul"

A 16-year-old girl who was killed when she was hit by a lorry had run into the road while holding hands with a friend, an inquest has heard.

Eliza Bill was struck by a Scania HGV on the A15 London Road in Osbournby, Lincolnshire, last December after getting off a broken-down school bus.

Boston Coroner's Court heard she was trying to cross the road with the 14-year-old girl who was left injured.

Coroner Paul Smith ruled the teen died as a result of a road traffic crash.

He said: "The most likely explanation is that Eliza became caught up in the moment.

"They were holding hands, they were excited… and forgot the basics of crossing the road."

Mr Smith said he was satisfied the lorry had been driven safely and there were no issues with the vehicle, adding that neither weather nor visibility had contributed to the crash.

Image caption The teenager was killed as she tried to cross London Road in Osbournby on 3 December 2018

The inquest heard the teenager had called her parents to arrange a lift home after the bus broke down.

The crash happened as she tried to reach her father who had arrived by car on the opposite side of the road.

Giving evidence in court, lorry driver George Stimpson said he had "tried to avoid them".

"I was looking straight in front of me and all of a sudden I saw two girls running across towards me.

"I swerved to the right and jammed the brakes on."

In a statement read out in court, Eliza's friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: "We were laughing and giggling.

"She was on my right side but it was too late."

Lincolnshire County Council guidelines state pupils should "not be permitted to leave a broken-down bus unless in an emergency", a police investigation found.

But the coroner said the bus had broken down at a "recognised drop-off point".

He told Mr Stimpson: "Based on the evidence I heard there was nothing more you could've done to avoid the collision."

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