The Crown claims that a Darfield man drank a significant amount of alcohol and appeared drunk before he left a party and caused a crash in which his passenger was killed.
According to Crown prosecutor Anselm Williams, the man denied he had been in the crashed car, left the accident scene, and boarded a plane to the Queensland’s Gold Coast within 24 hours of the crash.
Cody Marcus John Pierce, 23, denied three charges as his five-day Christchurch District Court trial began before Judge Alistair Garland and a jury today.
The Crown alleges that Pierce caused the death of his passenger, Sean Christopher Frost, in the October 27, 2012, crash at West Melton. Mr Frost died in hospital five days later.
Pierce denies alternative charges of causing Mr 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 he caused the death by careless driving while under the influence of drink.
The third charge accuses him of failing to render “all practicable assistance” to Mr Frost at the crash scene. He also denies that charge.
Mr Williams said witnesses would be called to give evidence that Pierce had gone to a party near Darfield on the afternoon of the crash and had drunk a significant amount of alcohol – premixed bourbon – until he left the party in the evening.
Witnesses would describe his behaviour at the party, and would say he appeared drunk. Mr Williams pointed to a text message Pierce sent to his girlfriend at 7pm, about two hours before the crash, saying he was “drunk already”.
Pierce was never breath-tested. He left the accident scene before the police arrived and he had flown to the Gold Coast before he was spoken to.
The Crown would say that Pierce was the driver of the vehicle – Mr Frost’s four-wheel drive vehicle – when he left the party, and later when the pair drove away from Pierce’s address at Darfield.
Mr Williams said Pierce had lost control on a bend and crashed the car into a power pole.
Pierce and a driver in a following vehicle got Mr Frost, who had been badly injured, out of the vehicle and onto the ground. When local residents arrived to assist, one of them spoke to Pierce and he denied he had been in the vehicle. Pierce left the scene soon after, in the following vehicle.
Within 30min Pierce had sent a text message to a friend saying he “might be coming to Goldie (The Gold Coast)” and he boarded a flight to Australia next day, Mr Williams said.
Richard Maze appears for Pierce.
The trial is continuing.