A split-second decision cost Sean Hutt his life – but saved that of his mate.
Before the 20-year-old was struck and killed in an alleged hit-and-run crash on Saturday night, he managed to push a friend out of harm's way.
Hutt's friends returned to the scene, on the outskirts of Hornby, today to pay tribute to a young man they say died a hero.
Were it not for Hutt's actions, they said they would be mourning two friends instead of one.
Hutt, known as "Sparrow", is believed to have died instantly after he was struck by a red Toyota headed south on Shands Rd about 11pm on Saturday.
Harry Philip Silcock, 18, was granted bail after a brief appearance in the Christchurch District Court yesterday in relation to the incident.
Silcock handed himself in on Sunday night, accompanied by his mother and aunt.
Hutt's friends yesterday described watching in horror as Hutt's body was flung about 30 metres.
Friend Ashley Barrett said he yelled "watch out" as he saw the two cars approach, one allegedly on the wrong side of the road, but "there was no time".
Hutt, who was standing just on the road with a 17-year-old friend, pushed the young man towards the grass verge and took the full brunt of the impact, Pope said.
The 17-year-old was clipped by the car and sustained a broken ankle.
Jamie Pope said he rushed to Hutt but realised "it would have been over in a second".
Hutt's identical twin brother saw the crash and was "inconsolable", Pope said.
The 17-year-old, who remains in Christchurch Hospital, declined to comment yesterday but his mother confirmed the course of events.
"All the boys have no doubt in their minds that he is here today because of Sean," Pope said.
"It just shows the character of Sean. It's who he was: caring, friend-oriented, always got a smile on his face," he said.
"There would be two bodies if it wasn't for Sean," friend Alex Moyse said.
Pope said Hutt worked at Transfield, where he was a lines foundation supervisor. He also liked motocross and mountain biking.
Silcock, charged with failure to stop and ascertain injury, was remanded without plea until October 1.
Judge Michael Crosbie bailed him to his mother's home in Burnham with a 7pm to 6am curfew.
He ordered Silcock not to drive a vehicle, consume alcohol or enter licensed premises.
Silcock's lawyer, James Rapley, said outside court it was "a terrible situation" and "very distressing" for Silcock's family.
"Harry is a young man who is coming to terms with a tragedy," he said.
Rapley said there was no suggestion Silcock knew the driver of the other car.
Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Murton said the driver had come forward but it was too early to say if he would face charges.
Rapley said Silcock's family were "a very normal family, very normal people who had never been involved in anything like this" before.
Residents near the intersection say boy racers have been frequenting the area for two months.
Sergeant Stu Munro, of the Selwyn police, said his staff had been at the intersection moving on a different group of boy racers about 45 minutes before the fatal crash.
Pope said the group had been there only five or 10 minutes when the crash happened.
- The Press