Graphic evidence of the moment his tram ploughed into 13-year-old Lindsey Inger was relayed to the inquest by the distraught driver.
“I can remember her hitting the windscreen, the tram juddering to a halt and then deadly silence,” said Adrian Vickery.
Mr Vickery, of Bestwood Park, was described as an experienced and respected driver who had worked for Nottingham Express Transit (NET) for more than eight years.
On the fateful day in November 2012, he was only one more journey away from the end of his shift that had started at 12.30 pm. “It had been just a normal day,” said Mr Vickery.
He explained that, after leaving Moor Bridge station, he noticed a group of children crossing to the central reservation.
“I sounded my horn and tried to reduce speed,” he said. “Three of the girls crossed, but the fourth one (Lindsey) was still there, making me think she was aware I was approaching.
“I kept thinking to myself: move, move!. But she casually walked on at a normal pace -- and that’s when the collision occurred.”
Mr Vickery said that, at no time, did he get the impression that Lindsey had seen the tram or realised “the seriousness of the situation”.
“In my experience, 99% of the time people are responsive to hearing the horn,” he pointed out.
Mr Vickery, who was said to have found the accident “absolutely devastating”, told Nottinghamshire Coroner Mairin Casey that he felt there was nothing more he could have done.
Expert analysis presented to the inquest confirmed that Mr Vickery had been driving within the speed limit. And a member of Lindsey’s family made a point of telling him that they did not blame him at all for the tragedy.
“We don’t want you to live with guilt,” she told him. “We know you did everything you could.”
The tram was carrying 29 passengers, two of whom also gave evidence to the inquest.
Teresa Mercer told how she had to turn her head away because she knew Lindsey was going to be hit by the tram.
“I had got up to get off at the next stop and was standing behind the driver’s cab,” said Mrs Mercer.
“The tram journey had been perfectly normal, and the driver appeared to be concentrating.
“I saw the girls crossing from left to right. The horn was very loud, and I was surprised to see no reaction from them.
“One of the girls continued walking slowly across the crossing. Her head seemed to be down, She was not looking up at all.
“In my mind, I was screaming at her to get out of the way and run. It was obvious she was going to be struck.”
A second passenger, Emily Espinosa, said the tram braked so hard “I thought it was going to come off the rails”.
After the collision, she rang 999 for an ambulance, and paramedics were on the scene within five minutes.
During those five minutes, an off-duty nurse, who was on the tram, jumped off to try and help Lindsey, along with tram conductor Gary Chappell, who had heard the sound of girls (Lindsey’s three friends) screaming.
“I went up to Lindsey and grabbed her left arm,” said Mr Chappell. “I told her she’d be all right because the ambulance was on it way.
“The nurse and I thought she was still alive. But she didn’t day anything and she wasn’t conscious.”