Oxford

Man killed by car on A34 after 'thumbing for lift'

Jack Morley Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Jack Morley's body was discovered by police on the central reservation of the A34

A man was spotted "thumbing for a lift" before he was fatally hit by a car on a dual carriageway, an inquest has heard.

Jack Morley, 36, was on the phone to his girlfriend seconds before he was hit on the A34 in Oxford after becoming intoxicated at a Christmas party on 16 December.

His body was found by officers in the central reservation at 02:19 GMT.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter heard Mr Morley was supposed to get a taxi to his home in Hungerford in Berkshire.

Several drivers said they had seen Mr Morley on the dual carriageway, which does not have a pedestrian path.

Driver Kate Blyth said she was driving southbound in the early hours when she had to swerve because there was "a man in lane one".

Lorry driver Peter Corbett said he saw a man "thumbing for a lift".

Mr Morley, an aircraft fuel engineer, had been dropped off at the Peartree Interchange after a party in Witney.

The inquest heard he had called his girlfriend Mia Andrews, who could hear lots of car horns and traffic noise in the background.

In her written statement she told the inquest it was "not the first time he had walked home drunk".

Ms Andrews said at about 02:00 Mr Morley answered the phone and she heard an indescribable noise, before the phone went dead.

'One second to react'

The inquest heard Mr Morley was hit by a Chrysler 300C.

A toxicology report found he was nearly four times over the drink-drive limit.

Collision investigator Daniel Henderson said on the unlit carriageway a driver would have about a second to react before hitting a pedestrian.

A post-mortem found Mr Morley died of multiple injuries and Mr Salter recorded his death as an accident.

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