A ‘loving’ schoolgirl was knocked down and killed after she walked into the path of an oncoming car on her way home from school.
Emica Jackson-Miller, 11, was making her way home from Torquay Academy in Devon on 25 November last year when she was struck by a passing car and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.
She was taken to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children but she sadly passed away on 11 December.
Following Emica's death, Torquay Academy principal Steve Margetts paid tribute to her, writing on the school website: “Emica made friends quickly and easily due to her infectious personality.
“Her friends talk about her as kind, loving and caring.”
An inquest at Plymouth’s Coroner’s Court on Wednesday heard the traumatised driver involved in the fatal collision had been unable to avoid the collision.
In a statement, the driver, a local Torquay woman, told how she was travelling along the busy residential road at around 25mph due to the number of parked cars on either side and speed humps along the road.
She recalled seeing “bunches” of school children as it was was 3.30pm and that she wasn't driving fast because she was aware of their presence.
The driver said: "As I was passing some parked cars I saw (a) young girl suddenly appear from behind a parked vehicle to my left side.
“I had not seen her on the raised pavement or the steps coming down the road; I just saw her upper body.”
Investigating police officer MPC Lucy Tyler-Jones told the inquest that evidence from the driver and witnesses confirmed Emica had walked down steps from the driver's left hand side into the road and that due to her height she would not have been visible.
It was added that there were no defects with the car that could have caused or contributed to the collision and that the driver had not been distracted by her phone and had not been under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Tyler-Jones concluded: "For an unknown reason, Emica stepped into the path of the car on the drivers left hand side without checking to see if the road was clear to cross.”
She added there was no evidence the driver had fallen below the standards of a competent driver.
Coroner Ian Arrow recorded a conclusion of road traffic collision, while a consultation with local authority into any safety concerns over the road are ongoing.
Conservative councillor Andrew Barrand has asked the council about using bollards to prevent parking on verges and corners, and creating a better pedestrian crossing point outside the school.
Emica’s family has raised nearly £11,000 in aid of Bristol Children’s Hospital’s Wallace and Gromit Appeal since her death.