A FATHER-of-four was killed when he lost control of his car at a busy Kingswinford junction, an inquest heard.

James O’Brien, was almost three times over the drink drive limit when he crashed whilst trying to negotiate a bend on Stallings Lane on May 15.

An inquest, held at the Black Country Coroners Court in Oldbury today (Thursday) was told that before the crash, the 28-year-old, of Oak Lane, Kingswinford, had been spotted at the Horse and Jockey pub in Wall Heath.

Detective Sergeant Paul Hughes, from West Midlands Police's collision investigation unit, said one witnesses had described Mr O'Brien as "drunk and animated", while another said he appeared agitated while having a loud conversation with another man in a nearby car park, before getting in his metallic blue Renault Scenic and speeding off.

Det Sgt Hughes told the inquest that a further witnesses saw Mr O'Brien, a landscape gardener, hanging out of his car window, gesturing and shouting at other motorists.

Mr O'Brien also hit a Vauxhall Zafira moments before he was seen overtaking another car at speed, narrowly avoiding a head on collision with a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.

Det Sgt Hughes said he believed Mr O'Brien intended to turn left into Ham Lane after passing the car but the speed he was travelling at, combined with a potentially damp carriageway, caused the vehicle to understeer.

The car flipped on its side after hitting the kerb and slid into a grassed area before crashing into a metal signpost.

The inquest was told that Mr O'Brien, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was partially thrown from the vehicle and his foot had become lodged on the accelerator, causing the wheels to spin.

He was treated by emergency services, including the air ambulance, but was pronounced dead at the scene.

Senior coroner, Zafar Siddique, said the medical cause of death was traumatic asphyxia and concluded that Mr O'Brien, who was born in Dublin, had died due to a road traffic accident.

A statement issued by Mr O’Brien’s family at the time of his death said: “Jimmy was very much loved by all that knew him.

“He was a loving husband and father, a caring son and an amazing brother and uncle. He will be so deeply missed by all that knew him.”