A PEDESTRIAN who died after being hit by a car on the A34 was drunk and trying to get home from a Christmas party, his inquest has heard.

Jack Morley, from Hungerford, died on the dual carriageway between the Botley and Peartree interchanges in the early hours of Sunday, December 16.

Oxford Coroner's Court heard today how, after a night out in Witney, Mr Morley, 36, may have argued with a taxi driver while he was being driven home from the Travelodge at Peartree, or could have walked for miles along the busy road.

Several witnesses described seeing the aircraft fuel engineer on the side of the A34 that night, at times straying into the lanes, and attempting to thumb a lift.

In a harrowing statement read out at court, his partner described receiving a series of phone calls from Mr Morley, culminating in hearing a loud noise and the line going dead.

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The statement, read out by coroner Darren Salter, said: "He had spent the evening at a work Christmas party and had intended to get a taxi back to Hungerford.

"They spoke briefly at around 1.20am when they talked about their nights.

"They spoke again at 1.50am and she remembers he seemed angry and was talking about an argument.

"She could hear a lot of noise in the background and was shouting at him to get a taxi.

"It was not the first time he had walked home after having a drink but she had no idea he was on the A34.

"He was talking about their plans together and just seemed to want to get home."

A toxicology report found that Mr Morley was around four times over the drink-drive limit when he died.

Friends said he had travelled back with them to the hotel from the party in Witney but then his movements became unclear.

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One witness said he had been seen getting into a taxi but the driver has never be found and no company has come forward with a record of the booking.

Collision investigators found that Mr Morley was likely hit while in the first or second lane of an unlit section of the road, standing upright, and it would have been very difficult for even the most responsive driver to have avoided him.

Before he was hit, several drivers described seeing Mr Morley appear 'from nowhere' at the side of the road.

His presence was repeatedly reported to the police and one woman said she spent 16 minutes trying to get through to the 101 service.

The police response to the incident is subject to a separate investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct and a report is expected soon.

Last month a driver, Sheila Shirley, pleaded not guilty to failing to stop at the scene of an accident and is awaiting trial.