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Published: 10:00, 17 June 2014 |
Updated: 13:44, 18 June 2014
The boyfriend of tragic teenager Zoe Georgiou broke down in tears as he told her inquest he tried to pull the 16-year-old out of the path of a car.
Joseph St John had been heading to his house in Coxheath with the Invicta Grammar School student, of Hampshire Drive, after a day out in Maidstone on January 11.
They got off the bus at around 6pm in Heath Road and walked behind it to cross the road.
At an inquest into her death at County Hall, Joseph sobbed as he described the moment she was hit by a car.
He said: "She must have assumed that it was clear so she stepped forward. I didn't. I held onto her hand, but it was too late to pull her back. I didn't see the car."
Neighbouring resident Ian Lee said he was eating dinner when he heard a thump outside, followed by shouting.
He saw Joseph calling for help and - being a qualified first aider - rushed to give Zoe CPR until paramedics arrived.
Mr Lee initially found a faint pulse, but was unable to find one when he checked a second time.
The teenager, described by her family as a "wonderfully thoughtful and generous child", died at the scene from head injuries.
Forensic collision investigator PC Andrew Waghorn told the inquest the silver Mazda that hit her had a defective tyre with less than the minimum legal tread.
He calculated the car, driven by Craig Judge, had been travelling at between 35mph and 43mph along the road, which has a 30mph limit.
But he said there was no evidence to say speed or defects to the car had contributed to the collision.
Mr Judge said he had not seen Zoe until the moment of impact and had no time to brake.
He told officers at the scene he did not remember seeing the bus or Zoe, whose hearing may have been impaired by the sound of the bus's diesel engine.
There were no problems with the road surface and the street lights were all working at the time and neither Zoe, nor the driver, had been drinking.
Mid Kent and Medway coroner Patricia Harding said: "I am satisfied that the driver couldn't see her as she stepped off the pavement... By the time she stepped into the carriageway the collision was unfortunately unavoidable."
She recorded that Zoe had died as a result of a road traffic collision.
Zoe was coming into the prime of her life, with dreams of university when she was tragically killed.
Teachers at Invicta Grammar School, in Huntsman Lane, said the pretty sixth form pupil had expressed an interest in studying medicine.
She had achieved 11 GCSEs and was studying psychology, biology, chemistry and English.
The teen's family said her "exceptional artistic talents" began to shine through when she was just four and went onto learn how to play the violin, clarinet and trombone.
She was also a member of Pegasus Gymnastics Club, a swimmer with Maidstone Swimming Club and played football with Maidstone Girls.
Zoe's "endless interests" included cheerleading, ballet and hip hop dancing.
In an earlier version of this article we referred to two tyres being defective on Mr Judge's car, where there was one defective tyre. We are happy to clarify this.
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