Schoolgirl, 15, killed by double decker as she crosses road to catch another bus

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Sophie Fletcher died after being hit by a bus (Image: West Midlands Police / SWNS)
Sophie Fletcher died after being hit by a bus (Image: West Midlands Police / SWNS)

A "beautiful young girl with an amazing personality" died after running out in front of a double decker as she tried to catch another bus, an inquest heard.

Sophie Fletcher, aged 15, suffered severe head injuries when she was hit on Sheaf Lane in Sheldon, Birmingham, just before 3pm on March 18. An inquest heard she had got off one bus on the opposite side of the road with a pal and had run into the street to try and catch another when she was struck.

Birmingham Coroners' Court was told the driver of the National Express bus could not avoid hitting Sophie as she ran out in front of him. PC Gail Arnold, a collision investigation officer with West Midlands Police, said: "Both girls got off the bus and ran down the side of the bus on the footpath and continued running behind the bus into the carriageway.

Schoolgirl, 15, killed by double decker as she crosses road to catch another bus rriddqikeiqtkinvSophie was crossing the road to catch another bus when she was hit (justgiving.com)

"She ran out in the road from behind the bus and nothing could be done to avoid the accident." She said the tragedy was also captured on dash-cam footage from another vehicle and the bus which collided with Sophie was travelling at 23mph in a 30mph zone.

Assistant Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull Ian Dreelan said: "Sophie and her friend had left a bus and ran behind the back of the bus. Her friend stopped but Sophie continued to run. She was struck by an oncoming double decker bus.

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"It is clear from video footage that the bus driver was simply unable to react in time. The distance was simply too short. She suffered injuries which caused her to die at scene. Death was caused by a severe head trauma."

The coroner described what happened as "exceptionally tragic" and recorded a verdict the teenager died as a result of a road traffic collision. At the time, Sophie's heartbroken parents paid tribute to their daughter and said: "It is with deep sorrow and a heavy heart that on Saturday 18th March 2023, our precious daughter Sophie Jain Fletcher was taken from us.

"She was a beautiful young girl with an amazing personality and presence to match. She will be so greatly missed by all her family, friends whether in or outside of school. Mommy will always hold your hand and you will always be daddy's little princess.

"Fly high our beautiful Sophie Soph. We will love you, forever & always Mommy & Daddy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx." Sophie was a student at Euphoria Dance Studios and teacher Catriona O'Brien also previously paid tribute to the youngster.

She wrote: "Sophie was such a joy to teach, always so happy and eager to please, always tried her best and was just the most loving little person. RIP beautiful girl, we will never forget you."

Tim Hanlon

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