TRIBUTES have poured in for a 17-year-old girl who was hit by a lorry as she returned from a bonfire event.

Maddie Burgess was walking home from the celebration in East Hoathly on Saturday night when she was hit by a Tesco lorry and a Vauxhall Insignia on the A22 near the village.

The Uckfield girl was pronounced dead at the scene.

Friends have posted their tributes and memories of Maddie on social media, and a GoFundMe page has been launched to raise money for her grieving family.

Daniel Manvell said on Facebook: “Thank you for so many amazing memories Maddie Burgess.

“You don’t need to say that we will never forget, because we will never be able to - no day will ever be the same.”

He added: “Such a funny girl, she will be sorely missed.”

Emma Harris wrote: “Rest in peace Maddie. You will be missed by all. Your family and school friends will never forget you.”

Maddie, an Uckfield College student, was hit at 9.18pm, and part of the main road was closed for around seven hours while emergency services investigated and cleared the scene.

The fundraising page, which celebrates Maddie’s life, was set up by Toby Cruse.

It has a goal of £10,000 to go towards support for her family and witnesses of the accident.

The page raised almost £700 in 20 hours, with Mr Cruse donating £500 himself.

He commented along with his donation: “Forever and always in our hearts.”

Maddie had hopes of going to university to study fashion design after completing her A-levels at Uckfield College.

She studied English, media and business.

A statement from the college said: “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.”

Organisers of the event said on Sunday they were extremely upset to hear of Maddie’s death, and sent their deepest condolences to her family and friends.

A spokesman for East Hoathly and Halland Carnival Society said: “It is dreadfully sad that a young life has been cut short after spending an enjoyable evening at the carnival.

“We are deeply shocked and know that the police are investigating this tragic death.”

Prayers were said for Maddie’s family and friends at the Remembrance Service in East Hoathly’s parish church on Sunday.

Sussex Police are now appealing for witnesses to Saturday night’s crash. Call police on 101.