Fun-loving teen Nick Clunes (right) with his dad Mick. Life will never be the same for Mick and Susan Clunes without their youngest son, family friend Simon Tyler said.
Fun-loving teen Nick Clunes (right) with his dad Mick. Life will never be the same for Mick and Susan Clunes without their youngest son, family friend Simon Tyler said. Contributed

Driver who fled knew he hit body

THE driver who hit and killed Nick Clunes knew he had driven over a body because he saw the teenager's hand.

But Mark Tytherleigh did not stop his car.

He slowed down briefly before his passenger, Annette Joy Cartwright, convinced him they had only hit a bag of rubbish.

Tytherleigh drove home, leaving Nick on Eudlo Rd at Palmwoods in the early hours of April 29.

Tytherleigh, a 31-year-old father, was disqualified from driving for nine months yesterday and placed on probation for 15 months.

In a Maroochydore courtroom filled by Nick's family and friends, Magistrate Tom Killeen was told that Tytherleigh's driving was not to blame for the fatal hit and run.

A post mortem examination at the John Tonge Centre determined that Nick was lying on the road when the vehicle struck him.

He had been on his way home after watching a football match at the Palmwoods Hotel with his friends earlier in the night.

Weeks later, Tytherleigh and his passenger were charged for driving away without calling an ambulance or stopping at the site where Nick would later be found dead.

Outside court yesterday, Nick's mother Sue Clunes said she hoped Tytherleigh's greatest punishment was living with what he had done.

"It's a bit of closure for me ... I'm a bit numb at the moment," Ms Clunes said.

"All I wanted to do was to see the man who ran over my child and didn't stop to call an ambulance. I didn't care really what he got.

"He has to live with himself, that's the sentence he's got.

"He's got a child ... if he could imagine if someone had done that to his child, left him lying on the road.

"I don't know if he has any remorse. I hope he has."

Tytherleigh, who wrote a letter of condolence to his victim's family, spoke briefly to the media outside the courthouse.

"I'd like to say I'm sorry and ... I did not mean what happened," he said.

"I'm very sorry and if I could change things I would change it."

Police collected various vehicle parts from the roadside where Nick was found.

Investigators established their suspect vehicle was a 1994 to 1998 model Ford Falcon.

In June, police were tipped off that there was a co-offender in the form of Tytherleigh's passenger, Ms Cartwright.

She was interviewed by police and named Tytherleigh as the driver. Tytherleigh simply told police he did not turn himself in because "he was fearful".

His 1998 Ford Falcon was seized from his home at Bundaberg and Tytherleigh was charged with failing to make a reasonable endeavour to obtain medical aid and showing callous disregard.

That charge was later reviewed and Tytherleigh pleaded guilty yesterday to ignoring the duties of a driver involved in a road accident as well as two minor drug charges regarding marijuana police found at his home.

Ms Cartwright's matter is yet to be finalised.

Her lawyer indicated to the court last month that she would contest the allegation.

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