Drunk man killed by taxi

A MAN who lay down in the road after a night out drinking with friends died after he was struck by a taxi as he tried to get up, an inquest heard.

Andrew Wyatt, aged 40, of Coniston Drive, Bolton-on-Dearne, was hit by the taxi on the Dearne Valley Parkway in Barnsley, following a night out with pals.

Sheffield Coroner's Court heard Mr Wyatt appeared 'dazed' and 'disorientated' and had attempted to stand up before being hit by the Ford Galaxy driven by David Mulholland.

Before the incident Mr Wyatt, who was nicknamed 'Wormy', told best friend Dean Hartas in a phone call: "I'm drunk - I can't drink as much as I used to."

A post-mortem found he died from multiple injuries, including a fractured spine and ribs, as well as lacerations to his heart and a major artery.

His blood alcohol was twice the legal drink drive limit.

Mr Mulholland said he was returning home along the Parkway after dropping off passengers he had collected at Manchester Airport.

"I came off the roundabout on to the Parkway," he said.

"I travelled about 100 yards and in the distance there was a car with its lights on. I flashed that car, and he then dropped his lights.

"As I got closer to it, he put them back on high beam. As I was passing that car, that's when there was an impact."

Mr Mulholland said he didn't brake as he didn't see Mr Wyatt, who was wearing dark clothing, and there were no street lights.

He told the court: "I reversed up and got out of the car and someone came to me," he said.

"He said there was a person in the road - I thought it was a deer. I went over to this person and rang the police and ambulance.

"I tried to find a pulse but I couldn't find anything, no pulse, no breathing."

Mr Mulholland said he was travelling within the speed limit at between 40 and 50mph before the crash at 2.40am on Sunday September 6 2009.

Motorist Andrew Dellors-Smith said he flashed his lights at Mr Mulholland and narrowly avoided hitting Mr Wyatt himself.

In a statement, pal Ricky Gough said Mr Wyatt was sick after his last pint and was helped out of the bar by door staff.

"I could tell he was getting very drunk," he said.

"He became unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. When we left he was nowhere to be seen."

Mr Wyatt's father, James Wyatt said he thought the road's speed limit was too high.

Recording a narrative verdict, assistant deputy coroner Julian Fox said: "It's quite clear the deceased had drunk quite a lot, before setting off home on his own. He was dressed in dark clothing and seemed very confused. Mr Mulholland was driving within the speed limit."

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