Fatal crash driver 'entered corner too fast'

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 16:43 20/08/2014
Cody Marcus John Pierce
Fairfax NZ
TRIAL ONGOING: Cody Marcus John Pierce denies causing the death of his passenger by driving under the influence of alcohol.

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

John Raine, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at 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 Rd was 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 of failing to render "all practicable assistance" to 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 the Toyota Landcruiser was likely travelling at 90kmh when it began to yaw off the seal on Johnson Rd, and was probably travelling at 60kmh when it struck a power pole.

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

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 deceleration injuries" involving contact with the windscreen and dashboard.

The trial is continuing.

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