Electrician Ben Lloyd, from Womersley, died after he was struck as he walked on the motorway near Castleford at about 3.40am on December 21 2013.
It is not known why Mr Lloyd was on the M62, heading in the opposite direction to his home, after first getting into a taxi following a night out in Pontefract.
Owen Gooden, who had been driving a VW Polo back from a family function in Nottingham, told the inquest into Mr Lloyd’s death at Wakefield Coroners Court yesterday that he was travelling in the middle lane of a westbound bend on the M62 when the crash happened.
He said: “I slammed on straight away, held on to the steering wheel and as I held on I felt something really hurt my chest. I remember having my mouth open, I didn’t shout because I was cringing – I knew it was going to happen.”
Louis Francis, the front seat passenger, added: “I remember him [Mr Lloyd] looking into the car, I remember seeing his eyes looking in.”
Steven Green, who was a collision investigator with West Yorkshire Police, attended the scene at 5.05am that morning.
He told the inquest that the car would have been travelling at 50 to 57mph on impact and that Mr Gooden had around one second to respond to seeing Mr Lloyd in the road. The impact threw Mr Lloyd 60metres.
Assistant coroner Kevin McGloughlin quizzed Sergeant Julie Fitzpatrick, a West Yorkshire Police (WYP) officer who investigated Mr Lloyd’s death.
Sgt Fitzpatrick said of Mr Lloyd’s death: “He [Mr Gooden] was confronted with a male wearing dark clothing on an unlit section of the motorway who shouldn’t have been there.”
She also talked of “friction” between WYP and Mr Lloyd’s family during the police investigation, how police resources were stretched that night because of ‘Mad Friday’ and how the month it took to find the taxi driver involved meant CCTV footage from a BP garage near the M62 was overwritten and lost. It is thought Mr Lloyd was seen before he ended up on the motorway by passing police officers.
Sgt Fitzpatrick said: “We have some unanswered questions. There is no CCTV coverage from the BP garage and then the nearest sighting is the officers seeing him near the entry slip road.”
The jury inquest, which is scheduled to run for five days, continues.