“WHAT should have been a party turned out to be a tragedy and a horrific waste of a young life.”

These are the words of a Hampshire coroner following an inquest into the death of a teenager.

Ben Wilson, of Waltham Road, Overton, was struck by a car on the way to a party, Winchester Coroner’s Court heard.

The 18-year-old was with a friend searching for directions to a gathering arranged through Snapchat in Micheldever Forest on September 15 last year.

The court heard he 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.

Jessica Cullen, who was present in the driveway, told the court that Ben seemed “very drunk”.

She said: “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 cocaine.

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

“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”she added.

The court heard how two cars then came into view. The driver of one of them, Joshua Wanless, told the inquest that as he approached the driveway he saw Ben’s leg step out into the road and he swerved.

Mr Wanless was followed by another cardriven by Lewis Potter.

He told the court: “I was behind the VW Polo 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.

“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,” he added.

Ben was taken to Southampton General Hospital but was pronounced dead. A post mortem examination found that he died of multiple injuries.

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

“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 added.

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