Fleeing son's return welcomed

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 10/01/2013

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The father of a young driver who fled New Zealand after a crash that killed the passenger says he is relieved his son returned home to "do the right thing".

Cody Marcus John Pierce, 22, was arrested at Christchurch International Airport on Sunday night after fleeing to Australia following a crash at West Melton on October 27.

Police said Pierce left the crash scene within minutes and was on the Gold Coast within 24 hours.

The passenger, Sean Frost, 43, died in hospital from his injuries five days after the crash.

Mark Pierce, who co-owns the Railway Tavern Bar in Amberley, said his son's disappearance had been stressful for the family and it was "a big relief" to see him home.

Police issued a warrant for Cody Pierce's arrest and had been considering extradition.

Mark Pierce said his son was "living on the streets" in Australia but secured work as a roofer, which allowed him to save for the flight home.

He and his wife had tried to persuade their son to return home.

They flew to Brisbane before Christmas, but could not find him, he said.

He said his son was in shock for the first month but now "wants to get it over and done with".

"It's no good running. You can't run forever," he said.

"He's just ready to do the right thing. He's still young. He can get it over and done with and hopefully be better for it."

He said they had been advised not to contact Frost's family.

"They lost someone for good," he said.

"That's the sad part, and he [Cody] has got to live with that the rest of his life."

Pierce is charged with driving while disqualified, drink-driving causing death, failing to stop at a crash scene and failing to report a crash.

He made no plea to the charges when he appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Monday and was remanded on bail until January 21. He had to surrender his passport.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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