A MOTORIST has insisted it was impossible to avoid hitting a Blackburn pedestrian who "darted" into the road at night.

Thirty-eight year-old Nasser Dungriwala had been crossing Wainwright Way, close to his home in Union House, St Peter's Street, when the incident occurred, Preston Coroner's Court was told.

Imtiaz Ahmed told an inquest he could not swerve his Volkswagen Golf out of the way as there were cars in the other lane.

He told the court: "He just darted into the road and that is when I saw him. That is why I couldn't save him."

Mr Ahmed, an experienced lorry and bus driver, said he had the "deepest sympathy" with Mr Dungriwala's family but he could not understand why the pedestrian had made his way across the road at that point.

Pc Barry Moore, a police accident investigator said tyre marks on the road indicated that Mr Ahmed had made an attempt to veer away before the point of impact.

"There was a tyre mark left on the road and from that we are able to provide a speed of 32mph," added the officer.

The court was told that the speed limit for the road was 30mph and the road conditions were clear.

No defects were recorded with Mr Ahmed's car, said Pc Moore, who noted that Mr Dungriwala was wearing dark clothing and had emerged from a darker section of the roadside.

"It is difficult to judge the path and speed of a vehicle just from the headlights," he added.

The inquest heard Mr Dungriwala was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital, after the collision, which took place at around 7.15pm on January 1 last year.

But doctors were unable to stabilise his condition, the court was told, and he was pronounced dead at 2.13am on January 2.

Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour gave the cause of death as multiple injuries.

Recording a road traffic collision conclusion, Area Coroner Richard Taylor said: "This is a route he would undoubtedly have taken on more than occasion. It is not illegal to cross the road where he did, as it were.

"But the officer said it would become more difficult to judge the speed of vehicles when it is dark and you are just looking at headlights coming towards you.

"For some reason he didn't judge it right. For some reason he set off and tried to get across the road when Mr Ahmed had the right of way."