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By Connie Osborne Wednesday 09 April 2014 Updated: 11/04 12:17
THE PARTNER of a man who died after being hit by a car on the Bromsgrove Highway has told an inquest she had no idea how he got there.
Stuart Alexander Burns died about 6am on December 14 last year after he was struck by an Audi A3 while walking on the A448 towards Redditch.
An inquest at the Worcestershire Coroner's Court on Tuesday (April 8) heard how the 41-year-old factory worker from Bromsgrove had been out on a work Christmas do.
He had met his colleagues in the Hungry Horse pub in Bromsgrove about 5.30pm on December 13, before they headed to Worcester on a coach and then came back to the town's Love2Love nightclub about 1.30am.
Colleague David Waldron said he had seen the father-of-two drinking wine and spirits and by the time they were in the club he was 'extremely drunk and very loud and boisterous but in a good way.'
Friend Hayley Lowe said she had seen him staggering and fall over inside the club, before he told her he was walking home about 3.30am.
But his partner of 22 years, Ann Marks, said she could not understand how he got to the highway in such a small amount of time.
"If he was that drunk, how did he get there? And why was he going towards Redditch? It just doesn't make sense," she said.
Officers from West Mercia Police said if he had been under the influence of alcohol he may have been confused.
But a toxicology test showed no trace of alchohol in his blood but the court heard because there was such a small amount of blood analysed and the way it was stored, meant the result could have been affected.
Timothy Edwards, the driver of the Audi, said he also sensed Mr Burns was staggering on the road but could not confirm it as it was pitch black at the time and the incident happened so fast.
"I was coming round the bend and I saw the deceased. I swerved but collided with him," he said.
"I was in the left hand lane and he was walking away from me, about a quarter into the lane.
"I had been driving with my main beams on but dipped my headlights when oncoming vehicles were coming."
He said he called emergency services but whilst on the phone he heard another two cars strike Mr Burns.
Investigators reconstructing the scene said Mr Edwards could had seen Mr Burns from 30 to 40 metres away, giving him just one second to react.
But the retail manager said although he was not good at estimating distances he believed he was only four or five feet away from him when he first saw him.
An autopsy confirmed he died as a result of multiple injuries, while vehicle examinations found no faults in any of the car.
Coroner Geraint Williams recorded a verdict of accidental death.
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