Expert assesses fatal crash scene

August 20, 2014 | By More

Court House-Sept-2013-07Motion of the four-wheel-drive vehicle involved in a fatal crash near West Melton were typical of a vehicle that has entered a corner too fast, an expert witness told the trial of Cody Marcus John Pierce.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering John Raine, of the Auckland University of Technology had his evidence read to the court on the third day of the Christchurch District Court trial before Judge Alistair Garland and a jury.

He said the motion shown at the October 27, 2012, crash scene at a bend on Johnson Road were typical of a driver attempting to control a vehicle’s “yawing motion”.

Pierce, 23, of Darfield, denies alternative charges of causing his passenger Sean Christopher Frost’s death by driving when he was under the influence of drink to such an extent that he was incapable of having proper control, and that caused the death by careless driving while under the influence of drink.

He also denies a charge that accuses him of failing to render “all practicable assistance” to Mr Frost at the crash scene.

The Crown alleges Pierce left the crash scene before police arrived, and flew to Queensland’s Gold Coast next day.

Professor Raine estimated that the Toyota Landcruiser was likely travelling at 90km an hour when it began to yaw off the seal on Johnson Road, and it was probably travelling at 60km an hour when it struck a power pole.

Pierce, the driver, was wearing a seat belt and received minor injuries.

Mr Frost was apparently not wearing a seat belt and received injuries that proved fatal. He had major injuries to his skull and brain, a broken jaw, and lung and liver injuries. These were characteristic of “high decelleration injuries” involving contact with the windscreen and dashboard.

The trial is continuing.

Category: Focus

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