A MAN who stepped out in front of a car gave its driver no more than a second's warning, an inquest has heard.

Unemployed Antony Brett, 51, was on his way home from a day’s drinking in Bingley on October 12 last year when he got off a bus in Keighley Road, Crossflatts, and was seen staggering and stumbling about in the dark.

Mr Brett, who got caught up in a cycle of alcohol and depression after being made redundant as a joiner, had earlier been found collapsed in Bingley Main Street and was put on the 662 bus by a council worker and another man who stopped to help.

Bus driver Stewart Lambert left Mr Brett holding onto the bus shelter when he got off in Crossflatts where he lived in Keighley Road, the inquest was told on Tuesday.

Nicola Hodgson – who lives in the village – described in a statement, read out to the inquest, how she was walking past with her husband when she saw Mr Brett staggering.

She said when she looked back he was on his knees trying to pull himself up at the bus stop. She wanted to help but her husband said he would be OK and they walked on.

Clare Ball was driving behind the Hyundai that hit Mr Brett moments later.

In a statement also read out, she said he looked to be drunk and seemed to be stumbling into the road.

“The Hyundai did not have a lot of time to react. The man continued to walk into the road. He went up in the air and looked like a rag doll,” she said.

An off-duty paramedic and off-duty hospital consultant were among passers-by who tried to help until emergency services arrived.

Mr Brett’s heart stopped beating for eight minutes at the scene until it was restarted and an ambulance took him to Leeds General Infirmary where he was given a massive blood transfusion and underwent trauma surgery, needing open heart massage when it stopped beating again.

Bradford coroner Martin Fleming described the work of surgeons as “heroic attempts” to save him but Mr Brett died a short time later from multi organ failure brought on by his extensive injuries.

Hyundai driver Peter Bolton told police he had been “pottering along” within the 30mph limit when Mr Brett suddenly appeared in his left headlamp, he braked but felt a bang and stopped straight away.

Collision investigator Robert Crispin said the impact could not have been avoided by steering or braking. “He (Mr Bolton) would have had a second at most to react,” he said.

Summing up, Mr Fleming said: “Antony’s decision-making was impaired somewhat by alcohol. He placed himself in a vulnerable position. He could have gone to the crossing but he stepped directly into the path of the car preventing the driver from taking evasive action. His death was a result of a road traffic collision.”