The young pedestrian who died following a collision on the A22 at East Hoathly has been name locally and on the BBC as 17 year old Maddie Burgess.
Maddie was a student at Uckfield College and a fundraising page has been set up as a ‘celebration of life’ to raise funds to support her family.
Uckfield College said in a statement: “Maddie was a vibrant, very popular and happy member of our college community, with a great sense of humour and a kind and generous nature.
“She was a joy to teach. She had many friends, and was always at the centre of college life.”
Maddie was studying for A-levels in media, English and business and was applying to universities to study fashion design, the college said.
“She will be hugely missed and remembered by us all,” a college spokeswoman said.
A friend of Maddie’s, Kayla Radloff, said her death had left “a huge hole”.
She added: “I don’t think it will ever be filled. It’s going to be a hole that we are going to have to grow around and grow with.”
Many of Maddie’s friends took to social media with lovely comments about their friend on Maddie’s own pages:
Lorea said ‘You’ve always been an angel. Ill love and miss you forever’
Gavin said ‘I can’t believe that you have been taken away so soon. I dont have words to say how sorry I am to hear the tragic news. RIP Maddie xxx’
Full details are published on the BBC News website here.
Emergency services were called to the southern end of the East Hoathly by-pass, close to the Thatch Garage, at 9.18pm on Saturday (November 11), but the 17-year-old girl from Uckfield was sadly declared dead at the scene. Her next of kin have been informed.
Sergeant Dan Pitcher from the Sussex Roads Policing Unit said: “It appears that the girl, who is understood to have attended the East Hoathly bonfire celebrations, may have been in collision with two vehicles, a Scania lorry and a Vauxhall Insignia, and we are now appealing for witnesses to assist our enquiries into the circumstances.
“We are particularly interested to hear from anyone who may have seen a teenage girl in a red puffa-style jacket and dark leggings in the area in the time leading up to the collision.”
The incident caused considerable disruption with the A22 closed from Halland crossroads to the north and the B2124 Laughton road junction to the south. The road remained closed while recovery and collision investigation work was carried out and reopened around 4am on Sunday.
Anyone who witnessed the collision or who may have any information about the incident is asked to report online or call 101 quoting Operation Gorse.
Images Dan Jessup