MOANING in agony and semi-conscious in the front passenger seat of a car that had just spun out of control and crashed into a large gum tree, Daniel Hamming had a chance to survive his serious injuries had his mate, the driver of the car, called triple-zero immediately.
Instead, Mario Anthony Formosa left him for dead.
Formosa, a 40-year-old drug dealer from Wootton, north of Bulahdelah, jumped from the stricken vehicle on Wootton Way about 4.40am on October 15, 2017, and furiously began trying to organise his escape.
While Mr Hamming lay dying from multiple serious internal injuries, Formosa spent the next two hours texting and calling friends to organise lifts from near the crash scene to his home and then to another location.
"Can you pick me up from my place and hurry the f--- up," Formosa told one mate.
And despite speaking to multiple people he made no mention of the crash or Mr Hamming's dire condition.
At 6.56am - more than two hours after the impact and after Mr Hamming's body had been located by a passing motorist - Formosa finally called triple-zero.
"I've had to walk so that I could get phone service away from the car," he told the operator. "My friend's injured."
Phone records would reveal that claim to be a lie.
Between the time of the crash and his triple-zero call, Formosa had sent 10 text messages and made 11 phone calls to friends in a bid to distance himself from the crash.
But his legal representatives, barrister William Hussey and solicitor Ana Qvist, negotiated a deal and he pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to stop and assist after an impact causing death.
Formosa's matter was one of about 50 trials that resolved with guilty pleas during the district court's "super callover" last week, where hundreds of pending defended matters are funneled into one week and negotiations are encouraged to cut through the lengthy court waiting times.
He has also pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying a prohibited drug and stolen goods in custody and will be sentenced for all matters on July 10.
Mr Hamming, 37, of Taree, suffered a traumatic head injury, including a skull fracture, two left rib fractures and liver lacerations after the passenger side of Formosa's Holden Commodore impacted heavily with a gum tree in wet conditions on Wootton Way.
But despite the seriousness of those injuries, pathologist Dr Jane Vuletic opined that Mr Hamming may have survived if he was given immediate medical treatment.