Petition set up calling for pedestrian crossing on busy road in Osbournby after death of "well loved" teenager

Floral tributes to Eliza Bill, 16, of Threekingham, who died on Monday afternoon in a collision with a lorry.
Floral tributes to Eliza Bill, 16, of Threekingham, who died on Monday afternoon in a collision with a lorry.

Children and staff at a village primary school have received counselling after being caught up in the aftermath of a tragic collision which killed a 16 year old girl.

Eliza Bill, of Threekingham, was with other local school children getting off a broken down bus being met by parents on the A15 London Road at Osbournby on Monday afternoon, when she and another 14 year old girl were in collision with a lorry.

Much loved person in the community - Eliza Bill of Threekingham, who died in a tragic collision with a lorry.

Much loved person in the community - Eliza Bill of Threekingham, who died in a tragic collision with a lorry.

Eliza was killed, while the younger girl's injuries were not thought to be too serious.

Eliza's family and the head of St George's School have paid tribute to her and the school has opened a book of condolence and permitted flowers to be laid in an area outside. More flowers have been left by the community at Osbournby close to where it happened.

The incident happened close to the village primary school where parish priest, Rev Nick Munday, was attending an after school club.

He said: "The children were rehearsing for a play to be performed in church on Sunday and we were just finishing when I was called out to deliver the last rites to Eliza. That was pretty emotional for everyone concerned.

Some of the floral tributes left at St George's Academy in Sleaford to Eliza Bill.

Some of the floral tributes left at St George's Academy in Sleaford to Eliza Bill.

"I took Julie, her mother home and one of the teachers took her father home. they also have another daughter."

Having spoken to the family and offered what care he could provide there and then, he returned to the primary school. he said: "There was quite a bit of pastoral care to be done with the staff and that went on for most of the evening. the school was absolutely brilliant."

The school had stayed open for the police to use as a base to talk to witnesses and staff looked after people and children who had witnessed or were simply caught up in the horrific events.

Rev Munday said he had spent time with Eliza's parents and they were beginning to plan a funeral but had not yet set a date. He said: "It has just been about being there, talking to them, listening and hugging them."

The book of condolence at St George's Academy in Sleaford to Eliza Bill.

The book of condolence at St George's Academy in Sleaford to Eliza Bill.

He added: "I knew Eliza quite well. She was in the early stages of thinking about confirmation and I had a discussion with her and a friend, talking about the deeper things in life. She was a very intelligent and thoughtful girl."

Despite the family having only moved to the area less than a years ago, Rev Munday said: "Eliza was a particularly well loved person. She was a church attender and had recently read the lesson in church and helped with catering and was well known.

"Her family have been grateful for all the help that has been given and quite overwhelmed with what has happened, but Eliza had come into her own in the village and the school, so we are all praying hard for them.

"She was well loved, respected and liked by everybody. The people from the church really cared for her and she was a person who shone with love."

Much loved. Floral tributes to Eliza BIll at St George's Academy in Sleaford.

Much loved. Floral tributes to Eliza BIll at St George's Academy in Sleaford.

Rev Munday said the event had shaken the whole area - both Osbournby and Threekingham but also other areas as children on the bus were from neighbouring villages. "One of my parishioners from Dembleby - a nurse - was one of the first people on the scene."

Headteacher of Osbournby School, Bridgette Burn said: "You can only think of that poor family."

She said staff and Rev Munday had talked to children in classes about what had happened, especially those who had witnessed the aftermath as they came out of clubs and wrap-around care.

Mrs Burn added: "We have started looking again at our parents' parking at pick up and drop off times and how we can improve safety. As it is we have a comprehensive health and safety programme and have educational lorries come to talk about lorry safety, visibility and stopping distances.

"We had a few upset children and families and the feeling this week has been quite low. People have been very reflective about what has happened and how it could be their children.

"Our staff were fabulous, I cannot speak enough of them. We stayed open for the police and staff were good at looking after people."

Hayley Connor, manager of Prelude Nursery, based in Osbournby, said the collision happened right outside the baby room of her nursery and it has shaken her staff. She has set up a petition on change.org calling for the highways authority to install a pedestrian crossing point to make it safer for villagers and children to cross the busy A15.

Within a day it has generated over 1,400 signatures in support of the call and the highways department will look into it. You can sign the petition here.

Local county councillor Andrew Hagues said: "It is something I shall be bringing up with the highways team as soon as possible. It is tragic."

Hayley Connor said: "It hits home to you and makes people think about how busy that road is. There is a school, a nursery and elderly people close by but where do they cross safely?

"There is no break in the traffic between 3.30pm and 5.30pm - it is constant and that is why some sort of crossing would help. It is a tragedy that should not have happened."