A MAN died when his drink driving cousin crashed their car and ploughed into a tree on a Hampshire country road, an inquest heard.

Joe Keet, 38, suffered multiple injuries when he was thrown through the windscreen during the collision on Heath Road, Soberton.

At a Southampton inquest a coroner ruled that the “loss of concentration” by driver Harry Keet had caused the crash but that Joe Keet’s failure to wear a seatbelt had ultimately claimed his life.

Harry Keet, 20, was previously sentenced to 16 months in jail and handed a five year driving ban after pleading guilty to causing death while driving under the influence of alcohol.

The inquest heard how both men – from a travelling family - left the Bold Forester pub in Soberton shortly before 10pm on September 22 of last year.

Their silver Ford Fiesta left the carriageway a short way down the road and crashed into a tree – throwing the older man from the vehicle and onto the bonnet.

The groundworker from Firgrove Lane, North Boarhunt, was declared dead at the scene while his cousin – who was wearing a seatbelt – and needed hospital treatment for cuts and bruises was subsequently arrested after being discovered to be over the drink driving limit.

Southampton coroner Grahame Short recorded a road traffic accident verdict and said: “He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and as a result of that crash he suffered multiple injuries.”