Girl, 15, 'distracted by phone' when she was fatally hit by bus near school

A teenager distracted by her mobile phone was killed after she was hit by a double-decker bus while walking near her school.

Sian Ellis, 15, suffered fatal injuries when she was hit by a red Volvo bus outside her school in Leicestershire on January 28 last year.

Driver Michael John Parker had no valid licence or insurance and only had a provisional driving licence.

The 62-year-old was fined £120 (AU$230) and handed a four-year driving ban at Leicester Magistrates' Court in September after pleading guilty to several driving offences. 

Detective Constable John Borlase, from Leicestershire Police’s serious collision investigation unit, said Parker had not been charged with death by dangerous driving because “there was no carelessness in his driving that actually caused the collision”.

An inquest at Loughborough Coroner's Court concluded Sian died as a result of a "road traffic collision".

The accident happened shortly after at 3.30pm (local time) just yards from the gates of King Edward VII College, in Meadow Lane, with Sian pronounced dead at the scene.

Sian Ellis, 15, was distracted by her mobile phone when she was struck by a bus in 2019. Source: Facebook

Giving evidence, Police Constable Stuart Bird, a forensic collision investigator, said CCTV footage taken shortly before the tragedy showed a female matching Sian’s description “walking through the school grounds wearing a scarf around her head and looking down at her mobile phone”.

His colleague, Det Con Borlase, added witnesses had told him Sian was looking down at her mobile and was also using headphones.

Det Con Borlase also summarised Parker’s police interview as he was deemed medically “unfit to attend” the hearing.

“In his account, he commented that there were a lot of children on the bus, with many standing up,” he said.

“He had to ask some of them to go further back as they were too far forward.

“He was driving at about 20mph (32km/h) and had to shout to the children again to get back.

“Then he said he saw a ‘flash’ in front of him and that’s when the collision occurred.

“He hadn’t seen Sian walk into the road but said he realised when he got off the bus.”

Det Con Borlase said despite some children blocking his view of the bus doors and wing mirrors, Parker’s view in front of the bus was not obscured and the conditions were “fine and dry”.

PC Bird calculated the bus would have been travelling at 19mph, giving Parker just 0.63 seconds to react, even if he had seen the teenager.

The driver had no valid license, only a provisional drivers license and had no insurance. Source: Getty Images

“With the amount of time between Sian stepping off the pavement and the point of impact there was nothing Mr Parker could have done to avoid the collision,” he said.

Parker admitted several driving charges, including driving a motor vehicle otherwise than in accordance with a licence, using a motor vehicle on a road or public place without third party insurance, and using a motor vehicle in a manner likely to cause danger to passengers.

Professor Guy Rutty, the pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination, gave the medical cause of death as a “combination of head, chest, abdomen and pelvic injuries”.

Sian’s family said they hoped her tragic death would serve as a stark warning to others.

– Yahoo UK

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