A SCHOOL bus driver who left a 15-year-old girl fighting for her life after knocking her down has admitted to drug-driving.

Trevor Sillett, 59, struck Elsie Allen as he attempted to pass another school coach that had stopped in front of him.

As Elsie, a grammar school pupil, got off the coach and walked across the road she was hit by the double decker bus.

She suffered two bleeds on the brain, broken ribs, damage to her lungs and a broken nose and she was unconscious in hospital for several days.

Luckily the teenager made a miraculous recovery but has been left with long-term hearing damage.

After the collision in Lytchett Matravers, Sillett tested positive for THC, the compound in cannabis that makes the user high.

He was later found to have around 3.5 times the legal limit in his blood.

He was found to have 6.9 micrograms in a litre of blood and the legal limit is two micrograms.

Bournemouth Echo: Trevor Sillett, 59 and of Wardon Hill, near Dorchester. Picture: BNPSTrevor Sillett, 59 and of Wardon Hill, near Dorchester. Picture: BNPS (Image: BNPS)

Sillett denied smoking cannabis and could offer no explanation as to how it came to be in his system, claiming that he must have passively ingested it.

He admitted a charge of driving a motor vehicle while over the drug-drive limit and will be sentenced at a later date.

Speaking after the case, Elsie's mother Fiona Richards said they weren't sure if she'd survive at the time.

She recalled seeing the air ambulance land in the village on the day of the accident and then found out minutes later it was for her daughter.

She said: "On the day I was texting her and trying to call her to find out where she was because she didn't come home.

"We saw the helicopter go over but didn't think anything of it until a couple of police officers walked up the drive.

Bournemouth Echo: Elsie Allen. Picture: BNPSElsie Allen. Picture: BNPS (Image: BNPS)

"Elsie is in Year 11 now and we don't know how it will all affect her. It's left to us to bring a case in terms of compensation and getting help with things towards her GCSEs."

Richard Withey, prosecuting, said the collision happened on March 21 this year after Elsie, a pupil at Parkstone Grammar School, had got off the coach.

Mr Withey said: "In front of him (Sillett) was another coach which pulled over on the left-hand side. There was no designated bus stop at that location, no indication that there were children as passengers on that bus or indication they were alighting.

"There was an accident, a 15-year-old girl was injured very seriously, life-threatening.

"He (Sillett) remained at the scene and directed traffic while the other bus driver attended to the wounded child who was airlifted to hospital.

"The police arrived and breathalised him, which was negative, but a roadside drug swipe indicated the presence of cannabis.

"He said he had not consumed any alcohol in years and had never consumed drugs."

Mr Withey said a number of charges had been considered, including whether the other bus driver should face any charges, before it was decided to charge Sillett with driving with a specified controlled drug over the limit.

Poole Magistrates’ Court heard Sillett had no previous convictions, had been a bus driver for 14 years and was supported by his boss from Damory Coaches.

Bournemouth Echo: The incident happened in Wareham Road, Lytchett Matravers. Picture: BNPSThe incident happened in Wareham Road, Lytchett Matravers. Picture: BNPS (Image: BNPS)

James Moore, defending, said: "Mr Sillett tells me he does not consume cannabis, but he does not have an explanation.

"I don't know if he has passively ingested it being with someone else taking cannabis. I asked if he used any CBD remedies, he said no.

"It doesn't seem on the face of it to make sense. He did not feel impaired in relation to his driving and how he felt."

Deputy district judge Gemma White said: "It makes it difficult for the court to accept that he is taking full responsibility if there's no explanation.

"He had 3.5 times the limit of cannabis in his system. A pre-sentence report is needed, this is far too serious to deal with by way of a financial penalty."

Sillett, of Long Ash Lane, Wardon Hill, near Dorchester, will be sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on October 21.

He was served with an interim driving ban.