A man who died after his car hit a tree near Winchester was texting moments before the collision.

IT developer Adam Hardwick from Chandlers Ford was the driver of a BMW which crashed on the A33 Basingstoke Road north of Kings Worthy, Winchester Coroner's Court heard.

The 39-year-old, of Ormesby Drive, was travelling from his home to Hook for an interview in the area the next day.

The court heard from Teresa Saunders, Mr Hardwick's partner, who said he had messaged her on route to say he had forgotten his work pass and was going to retrieve it.

In a statement read in court, Simon Hammal, who was driving on the road at the time, said: "I saw two lights coming from behind.

"The car came past me in lane two. A I came over the hill I saw in the distance a large cloud of water.

"I slowed down as I thought there must be some standing water.

"I drove down closer to the blue BMW. I looked in and saw a male slumped towards the passenger seat."

Emergency services were called at about 2.50pm on January 29 but Mr Hardwick was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dr Adnan Al-Badri of Royal Hampshire County Hospital said Mr Hardwick suffered multiple injuries including a skull fracture and bleeding on his brain.

Forensic collision investigator Anthony Johnson told the inquest that the BMW sustained a "colossal impact."

He said the last message from Mr Hardwick was in all probability sent while he was driving, which would explain why he drifted onto the verge rather than swerved, though it was possible he had pulled over.

"While there is a no direct evidence that he was using the mobile phone it is an explanation for his lapse in concentration," he said.

He added that there was no way to determine the precise speed of the vehicle.

Central Hampshire coroner Grahame Short said the evidence strongly pointed to Mr Hardwick being distracted.

"I don't think it is a coincidence that he sent that message very shortly before it happened. I don't believe there was time for him to pull over and send it. I find he was texting while driving along that road," he said.

"This illustrates the the risk of using a mobile phone while driving. Texting is particularly dangerous and it led to tragic consequences for Adam."

He recorded a conclusion of accidental death.