A YOUNG Mirfield father of three died tragically after he was hit by a car following a drinking session, an inquest in Huddersfield heard.
Craig Marples was 34 when he was killed by a car travelling at 35mph as he was crossing Leeds Road in Huddersfield at 1.30am on June 10, 2006.
He had been drinking in the Airedale Heifer, on Stocks Bank Road, that evening with his best friend, Jeff Thackery, after helping him paint his boat.
Police believe Mr Marples got a taxi to Ricky’s Bar, on Leeds Road, Huddersfield, which dropped him on the opposite side of the road to the bar.
The inquest, at Huddersfield Coroner’s Court, heard how Harmail Singh, from Birkby, was driving from Huddersfield when he saw Mr Marples standing in the middle of the road as if he was waiting to cross.
In a police statement Mr Singh said Mr Marples appeared to ‘jump out’ in front of him.
He swerved to avoid him, hitting other cars, but it was too late. Mr Marples was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary’s intensive care unit where doctors said his injuries were fatal.
Nine members of Mr Marples’s family and friends were at the inquest but had no questions for Mr Singh.
Mr Singh broke down as he told them: “I am really sorry it happened. I think about it every day.”
Pc Philip Jackson, of the Wakefield collision investigation unit, said there was nothing wrong with the road or Mr Singh’s car.
He said there was a pedestrian crossing only a few metres away from the scene of the incident, and added: “It was working correctly and had it been used it would have provided a safe means of crossing.” Mr Marples, an unemployed warehouse manager, was single but had two children from a previous relationship, Hayley, 13, and Jordan, 11. He had also adopted another daughter Samantha.
In a statement Mr Thackery, who had known Mr Marples for 20 years, said they had both drunk seven or eight pints of lager at the pub that night.
He said Mr Marples had seemed happy when he left the pub as he had just passed his computing exams and there was the prospect of him getting together with a new girlfriend.
He said: “He had always been a happy-go-lucky bloke who’d do anything for his mates.”
Former partner Louise White said in a statement she had known Mr Marples for 12 years but their relationship had broken down four years ago because she couldn’t cope with his drinking.
She had been with him in the Airedale Heifer before he left and had seen him drink at least two shots of whiskey.
A toxicology report showed Mr Marples had drunk the equivalent of nine pints of beer or 17 shots of spirit.
Mr Whittaker said Mr Marples was clearly inebriated at the time of the incident and died of multiple head injuries.
He said: “My verdict is this is a tragic accident.”