A much loved 73-yr old Stroud man was tragically killed in a 'completely unavoidable' collision when he crossed the road in front of a car, an inquest heard today.

Graham Patefield-Smith of Lansdown Road, Stroud was walking along Stratford Road past the Park when he was seen stepping into the carriageway towards the bus stop, the Gloucester inquest was told.

He started at a walk but progressed to a jog - but sadly a BMW car being driven by Kieren Hitchcock struck him, projecting him into the air.

At the time of the incident, the driver was arrested for having illicit drugs in his system but the inquest heard today that this was not the cause of the collision.

Police collision investigator PC Phil Reece found that it would have been "impossible for the driver to react quickly enough to Mr Patefield-Smith crossing in front of the car."

The drugs in the driver's system were not at a level to cause "significant impairment," the officer said.

"The investigation and the reconstruction undertaken confirmed any driver under those circumstances would not have been able to stop in time and a collision was inevitable" he said.

PC Reece confirmed Mr Hitchcock was driving at or around the speed limit, there were no mechanical defects found with the BMW but it was simply Mr Patefield-Smith's position in the road at that time and there was nothing the driver could have done.

"It was dark, Mr Patefield-Smith was wearing dark clothing and CCTV also suggests there was a car behind him with headlights on which would have caused further shadowing.

"It is more probable that the driver did not see the pedestrian until he was seconds from him, making that collision unavoidable."

Senior Coroner Katie SKerrett called the incident "a tragic and unavoidable accident."

"Speed was not a causal factor, there were no mechanical defects with the car but it was Mr Patefield-Smith stepping into the carriageway at that point causing him to be struck and receiving overwhelming injuries inconsistent with life" she said.

"He was wearing dark clothing in a dark area. I agree with the collision investigator that there was not enough time for the driver to react. It is more probable that he did not see him until he was seconds from impact."

Mrs Skerrett commented on the illicit drugs found in the driver's system by saying "I have noted he had illicit drugs but it was not causative and I agree the collision was inevitable."

Warm tributes were paid to Mr Patefield-Smith just after his death on 3rd January. He was known as a "wonderful, caring and sensitive man who will be sadly missed."

Mr Patefield-Smith was key part of the Stroud community. He was a founder member of the Cohousing community in Lansdown, Stroud, and was involved with Stroud Car Share Club.

He was a familiar face at Rodborough pub the Prince Albert's baroque nights and staff there said he would be very much missed.