A pedestrian sustained “catastrophic and unsurvivable” injuries when he was struck by a car which failed to stop while he crossing the A66, an inquest heard.
Father-of-four James Greenwood, 61, had been out with a group of friends to the Ivy House and Royal Oak, at Braithwaite, and was making his way back to the village campsite along an unlit section of road when he was hit by a silver BMW car, driven by Matthew Leggett in the early hours of April 7, 2018.
Mr Leggett, in a statement read at the inquest, said he had been at Wetherspoon in Keswick, and was returning to the town after dropping off a friend in Cockermouth when he noticed “two or three” people on the left hand side of the A66.
He said that he “let off” his accelerator and slowed when all of a sudden there was a “big bang” on his windscreen.
“I was aware something had hit my car and my windscreen had smashed. I just panicked and kept on driving. I don’t know why I did not stop. It did not cross my mind that I had hit someone,” said Mr Leggett’s statement.
His vehicle was later found parked at the entrance to Setmurthy Woods, near Cockermouth, and was identified by debris, including three pieces of number plate found at the accident scene.
A collision investigation report by PC Stephen Wakefield, of Cumbria police, said physical evidence suggested that the vehicle had taken evasive action and swerved away from the kerb.
PC Wakefield said the car was travelling around 60mph – the road’s speed limit – and that the vehicle’s headlights had been on at the time of the accident.
The inquest was told that Mr Greenwood, who lived at Market Drayton, Shropshire, had been wearing dark clothing.
The hearing was told that Mr Greenwood was mildly intoxicated, which may have affected his behaviour but would not have contributed to his death.
His friends told the hearing that Mr Greenwood had restricted his drinking in both hostelries as he had a medical condition to do with his oesophagus.
A post mortem found that Blackpool-born Mr Greenwood died of multiple injuries.
Cumbria’s area coroner Kirsty Gomersal recorded a verdict that Mr Greenwood died as a result of a road traffic collision.