A MOTORIST who knocked over and killed a pedestrian in the middle of the night had no real chance of seeing or avoiding him, an inquest heard.
Shaun Roxby had been out drinking in Ferryhill with his partner and her brother on the night of the accident, February 24 this year.
The three of them had left The Post Boy pub between 10pm and 10.30pm and got a bus from the Market Place to head home, to Bowburn.
But just after 11pm, Mr Roxby asked the driver to let him off before the Thinford roundabout and he was seen staggering along the footpath.
The hearing, held at Crook Civic Centre today, heard that Mr Roxby, a 36-year-old dad of two, was hit by a car a short while later.
A post mortem revealed he was heavily intoxicated, consuming about four times the drink-drink limit of alcohol, and sustained multiple injuries including fatal neck and chest injuries.
Police said that a number of witnesses had then seen Mr Roxby walking on the road in the minutes before his death.
One driver reported seeing him stumble off the kerb and having to avoid him and he was seen staggering and waving his arms.
A short while later he was hit by a VW Golf driven by Dr Amanda Callander, who had been driving towards Spennymoor after attending an orchestra practise in Newcastle, on the road between Thinford and Metal Bridge.
PC Michael Woodhouse, of the Cleveland and Durham Collision Investigation Unit, said the road was in complete darkness and Mr Roxby had been in dark clothing when he was hit.
The car had been MOT tested just 24 days earlier and no safety faults found, the driver had not taken any drink or drugs and was not using her mobile at the time of collision.
He said: “Intoxication is a factor re Mr Roxby, the pedestrian, and may account for any confusion and lack of awareness for his own safety.”
Senior assistant coroner Crispin Oliver concluded Mr Roxby died as a result of a road traffic collision.
He said: “He had been walking in the roadway, in dark clothing whilst severely intoxicated. There were no street lamps.
“The motorist didn’t have sufficient opportunity to take avoiding action of to brake.
“The car was properly maintained, in a safe working condition and was being driven lawfully.”
He extended his sympathies to Mr Roxby’s family.