A driver caused a crash that killed his mate, then left him
to die by the roadside before fleeing to the Gold Coast, a
court was told today.
Sean Frost, 43, died in hospital five days after the rural
Canterbury smash on October 27, 2012.
Police alleged that Cody Marcus John Pierce, 23, was the
driver behind the smash.
They also allege the Darfield painter failed to stay and
check for Mr Frost's injuries before he told another mate --
who had been driving behind him before the crash -- to drive
him away from the scene at Johnson Rd, West Melton.
Today, on the first morning of his trial at Christchurch
District Court, the Crown alleged that as Pierce was being
driven away, he texted a friend living in Australia: "Oh
cool, might be coming to Goldy tonight, want to help me out?"
The next day he bought a one-way ticket to Brisbane and
within 24 hours of the crash, he had left New Zealand, the
Pierce voluntarily returned from Australia months later to
face police charges. He was arrested when he landed at
Christchurch International Airport on January 6 last year.
Pierce denies causing Mr Frost's death between October 27 and
November 1 in 2012 by carelessly driving while under the
influence of drink to such an extent "as to be incapable of
having proper control"of the 4WD Toyota Landcruiser.
He also denies an alternative charge that he caused Mr
Frost's death by carelessly driving while under the influence
of drink "in a matter that is not an offence against the Land
Transport Act"; and that as a driver involved in an accident
where someone was killed or injured he failed to stop and
ascertain injury and give "all practicable assistance".
Crown prosecutor Anselm Williams told a jury of eight men and
four women that Mr Pierce had been drinking bourbon and cola
mixers since about 3pm that day at a party.
Fellow partygoers will give evidence during the week-long
trial that he had been showing "signs of drunkenness", Mr
About 9pm he was driving with Mr Frost on the rural road near
West Melton when he failed to take a moderate bend on the
approach to a T-intersection.
Pierce, a disqualified driver at the time, went onto the
grass verge, narrowly missed a power pole, crossed the
intersection and hit another power pole.
Mr Frost was seriously injured.
Pierce got out of the car and walked to his friend's vehicle,
which had been following behind, the court heard.
"The accused demanded that [the friend] take him away from
the scene immediately," Mr Williams said.
He said they took Mr Frost out of the vehicle and laid him on
the ground beside it.
The sound of the crash brought some locals out to
Pierce denied being the driver, the court heard, and
allegedly told locals that he had just come across the crash
and that Mr Frost had been driving.
He allegedly told a member of the public that he had phoned
emergency services, but Mr Williams said there was no
evidence that he had.
Pierce's friend drove them away from the scene, Mr Williams
It is alleged that within half an hour, Pierce sent a text to
a friend in Australia, indicating that he was going to fly to
the Gold Coast.
The Crown does not allege that Pierce -- who was not breath
tested or had a blood sample taken before he left for
Australia -- had been over the limit at the time of the
It alleges that he was under the influence of alcohol to such
an extent that he had no proper control of vehicle at the
time of the crash.
Mr Williams said there would be evidence that Pierce had
"consumed a significant quantity of alcohol"that night, and
he would show the jury a text to Pierce's girlfriend at 7pm
which said he was "drunk".
Defence counsel Richard Maze elected not to give an opening
The trial, before Judge Alistair Garland, continues.