Dead driver Darren Stephenson-Bennett found in roundabout bushes had been drinking
A driver found dead in his car in bushes on a roundabout had been drinking, an inquest has heard.
Darren Stephenson-Bennett from Newton Aycliffe crashed on a roundabout at the junction of the A68 near Darlington.
The 28-year-old was last seen at a party on Saturday 27 August and was found dead by police seven days later.
At an inquest in Crook, County Durham, coroner Andrew Tweddle recorded a verdict of accidental death.
The hearing heard other guests at the party saw Mr Stephenson-Bennett drinking whisky and beer before leaving the party.
It also heard he probably crashed after leaving the party but he was not discovered for a week because his vehicle was obscured by bushes.
It is thought the father-of-three failed to negotiate the roundabout and went through a chevron board before hitting trees.
Mr Tweddle said it was "highly probable" that Mr Stephenson-Bennett was over the drink drive limit when he crashed at 70mph (113km/h).
The hearing also heard he probably died instantly or within hours of the crash from a brain injury.
After his body was found, Mr Stephenson-Bennett's family said: "Darren was a much-loved husband, father, son and brother who was devoted to his family and his daughters.
"Darren was a popular person who would do anything for anybody.
"He was well-liked by all who knew him, extremely laid back and easy going, and no-one had a bad word to say about him."