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CCTV could hold vital clues to Rochester Road bus crash after schoolgirl Jade Phillips knocked down in Gravesend

CCTV showing accident involving a car and bus in Rochester Road, Gravesend.
CCTV showing accident involving a car and bus in Rochester Road, Gravesend.

Jade at the top of the screen just moments before the crash

by Julia Roberts

The shocking moment when a schoolgirl was struck by a car and thrown into the path of an on-coming bus was captured on CCTV.

Jade Phillips, 12, is seen on the footage filmed by a camera outside 3 K's Convenience Store trying to cross Rochester Road in Gravesend during rush-hour traffic.

KentOnline has seen the full footage, but has chosen not to show it to avoid causing additional distress.

It shows a friend had crossed ahead of her and made his way into the shop just after 8am on Wednesday.

Just seconds later the St John's Catholic Comprehensive pupil slowly edges out into the road.

Numerous vehicles can be seen passing the girl, but no one stops or slows down.

Having waited several seconds, the youngster then steps further into the road - only to be hit by a car travelling towards the junction with Abbey Road.

The impact throws her into the path of an Arriva bus heading in the opposite direction and she is dragged along for several metres by the single-decker's front wheels before it is able to stop.

CCTV shows moments after the bus crash in Rochester Road, Gravesend.
CCTV shows moments after the bus crash in Rochester Road, Gravesend.

A schoolboy is seen rushing to help after the crash

A schoolboy is then seen rushing out of the shop and across the road to help Jade.

He and other members of the public at first head to the rear of the bus, where what appears to be her schoolbag lies in the road. They then get onto their hands and knees to peer under the vehicle.

However, it is not until another schoolgirl standing on the pavement crouches down and looks towards the front of the bus that they realise she is caught under the front wheels.

Crews from Kent Fire and Rescue Service used air bags to release her before she was taken to King's College Hospital in London.

She suffered a fractured skull and collarbone but was said by Kent Police to be conscious and in a "serious but not life-threatening" condition.

Speaking on behalf of Jade's mother Amanda Pryor, Jade's aunt - who asked not be named - said: "Amanda is so grateful for the love and support from the local community and how people are reacting. She didn't realise people were like that - it's been so overwhelming."

Shopkeeper Sutharsan Murugesu was at the doorway of the convenience store and said Jade was trapped for about half an hour.

Emergency services at the scene of a bus crash in Gravesend
Emergency services at the scene of a bus crash in Gravesend

Emergency services at the scene of the crash

"She was dragged along for about five metres. The boy found her under the bus. At that time the girl was screaming and we called for the police and ambulance.

"I think the boy's mum or another mum came to try and take the girl from under the bus. It was very shocking."

Robert Livingstone is the manager of Carpet Design Centre which is in the same parade of shops. He was asleep in his flat above the shop when he was woken by the sound of screaming.

"I knew it wasn't the normal noise of schoolchildren. I looked outside and it had literally just happened.

"It could only have been seconds because of the screams I could hear," said the 40-year-old. By the time I came to the window her mum was there and was distraught."

"she is very much in our thoughts" – headteacher john stanley

Jade's headteacher John Stanley was at the scene within minutes and has praised the reaction of not just the emergency services but also a Year 10 pupil who made a 999 call and alerted the school.

"He witnessed the accident and immediately called the emergency services and then he phoned the school. It was a really good thing of him to do and shows great presence of mind," he said.

"The emergency services themselves were brilliant and I include in that not just the ambulance, paramedics, police and fire crews but also those from the bus company. There were three or four buses in the queueing traffic and the drivers all responded really well.

"It was great to see a community working together."

A special 'prayer corner' has been set up in the school's chapel where Jade's classmates and other pupils have laid pebbles out in her name. Many also made her 'Get Well' cards.

"The children in school have been very concerned for Jade and have been sending lots of get well wishes and messages," added Mr Stanley. "She is very much in our thoughts."

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