A ‘HAPPY and cheerful’ teenager died when he was struck by a car on the way to a party.

Ben Wilson, of Waltham Road, Overton, was with friends searching for directions to a gathering arranged through Snapchat in Micheldever Forest on September 15 last year.

The 18-year-old had been drinking with his friends at his home before the group made their way to the A33 where a number of party-goers had gathered in a driveway at around 11pm, an inquest into his death at Winchester Coroner’s Court today (Tuesday) heard.

Witness Jessica Cullen, in a police statement, said Ben was “staggering around” and seemed “very drunk”, she added: “I couldn’t understand anything he was saying and his words were very slurred. Ben didn’t seem to be his usual happy self. He was usually very cheerful.”

The inquest heard that Ben had 257 millilitres of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood — the legal drink drive limit is 80 — and had taken an amount of cocaine.

Ms Cullen said Ben said “I’m bored, let’s just go” and walked into the road, and as he did she tried to pull him back into the driveway by his hood as there was headlights approaching.

“He didn’t look at me or the headlights, he was walking looking straight ahead. I screamed ‘Ben’ at least twice but again he didn’t react.”

Two cars then came into view. The first, a dark blue VW Polo, clipped Ben with its wing mirror.

The driver of the Polo, Joshua Wanless, said that as he approached the driveway he saw Ben’s leg step out into the road and he swerved, but there was “a bang” as he drove past.

Mr Wanless was followed by another car, a blue VW Polo, driven by Lewis Potter.

Mr Potter said: “I was behind the VW Polo between five and 10 minutes when for no apparent reason its brake lights flickered and [it] swerved sharply to the right.”

Mr Potter then braked before hearing a thud and then a louder bang. The inquest heard that Ben was thrown into the air and Mr Potter’s windscreen smashed.

“On the opposite side of the road I saw a figure laying still. I felt shocked and had no idea where the person had come from,” Mr Potter added.

Emergency services were called to the scene and spoke to Philip Emptage, the driver of a black Range Rover Vogue, who had parked partly off the road after dropping off his daughter Scarlett and Ms Cullen.

Mr Wanless said he thought he had to manoeuvre slightly around Mr Emptage’s car and coroner Grahame Short considered the positioning would have “likely to have obscured Ben’s vision of approaching traffic”.

Ben was taken to Southampton General Hospital but was later pronounced dead. A post mortem carried out by pathologist Dr Sanjay Jogai found that he died of multiple injuries caused by the collision.

Mr Short said Ben’s dark clothing would have affected the driver’s ability to see him, but the former Testbourne School pupil’s drug intake would have an impact on his thinking.

He added: “He may well not have realised he was crossing a road when he went to relieve himself. Ben was in a world of his own.What should have been a party turned out to be a tragedy and a horrific waste of a young life.”

Mr Short concluded that Ben died as a result of a road traffic collision.