A drunk pedestrian who walked home from a Christmas party along a dual carriageway "may have argued with a taxi driver" shortly before being hit by a car, an inquest heard.

Jack Morley, 36, from Hungerford, died on the dual carriageway in the early hours of Sunday, December 16 last year, after several witnesses described seeing him trying to thumb a lift home.

Oxford Coroner's Court heard how, after a night out, pals saw Jack get into a taxi - before his girlfriend later reported that he called her at 1.50am and was talking about an argument.

Several witnesses described seeing the aircraft fuel engineer appear "from nowhere" on the side of the A34 that night, between the Botley and Peartree interchanges in Oxfordshire.

They said he was straying into lanes, attempting to thumb a lift, and the inquest heard that his presence was reported to the police.

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

In a harrowing statement read out by coroner Darren Salter, his partner described receiving a series of phonecalls from Jack, who had been out in Witney.

The statement read: "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."

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

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.

It would have been very difficult for even the most responsive driver to have avoided him, the inquest heard.

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.