A MAN who died on the A64 last year was a real “country lad” whose loss has “left a big hole”, his family have said.

Ryan David Walker, 26, of West Garth in Sherburn, was killed while crossing the road at West Heslerton just after 6pm on November 27 last year.

At his inquest, held at Pickering Memorial Hall on Monday, coroner Michael Oakley recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

Ryan, who had lived in Sherburn all his life, was working as a kitchen porter at the Talbot in Malton.

The inquest heard that the day in question was his day off and he had had a couple of drinks at the Ham and Cheese pub in Scagglethorpe, after which he was seen in the post office in Rillington.

He had been due to get the bus back along the A64 to Sherburn. However, traffic constable David Taylor, who investigated the crash scene, told the inquest that another crash that afternoon, further west, had closed the road and delayed the bus, so Ryan opted to walk back along the path that runs alongside the road.

He also noted it was a dark night and Ryan was dressed in dark clothing with no reflective items. “This rendered Ryan virtually invisible,” he said.

The inquest also heard from Christopher Taylor, who had been driving back from Scarborough with his partner Shannon Dowthwaite. They had been walking their dogs on the beach. He described how they had been driving along a straight bit of the A64 on their way home when a “dark object” appeared in his lights and he “heard a thud” as the collision occurred.

TC Taylor said that “it was clear that both Christopher and Shannon did not see Ryan prior to this collision” and they had been travelling at a normal speed.

Speaking after the inquest, Jean Walker, Ryan’s aunt, said: “He was in dark clothes but that day, on his day off, he wouldn’t have known he’d have to walk anyway. He was going to get the bus.

“It’s tragic - one accident’s caused another accident.

“He was a quiet lad and always had a smile for everybody. There wasn’t a bad bone in his body.

“He always had a smile for anybody, young and old. It’s devastated everyone.”

She described him as a “country lad” who loved Johnny Cash and was interested in horse-racing and enjoyed gardening. He also had a dog - a lurcher called Brock.

“He loved dogs,” Ms Walker added. “He’d go miles walking the dogs, he’d go all over.

“He’s missed by all the family terribly and he’s left a big hole.”