Beds, Herts & Bucks

Man died after falling out of Uber in Sydney

Samuel Thomas Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Samuel Thomas was living in Australia when he died in June 2017

A bricklayer died when an Uber driver did not take "reasonable care" and drove off with the man halfway out of the car, a coroner has ruled.

Samuel Thomas, 30, was living in Australia when he died on 17 June 2017.

He was travelling home with friends from a party in Sydney when the Uber driver stopped at traffic lights and Mr Thomas started to leave the car.

Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan said Mr Thomas, from Harpenden, Hertfordshire, fell into the path of a bus.

He said the Uber driver Nazrul Islam had "not exercised reasonable care".

Mr Sullivan, the senior coroner for Hertfordshire, said: "The driver accelerated off when Mr Thomas was half way out of the car.

"He fell into the path of a bus which collided with him and he was killed instantly."

Mr Sullivan recorded the cause of death as "severe catastrophic head injuries" and concluded Mr Thomas died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The coroner said the Uber driver Nazrul Islam had "not exercised reasonable care"

Islam, 32, was found guilty of negligent driving causing death at a trial in Sydney, Australia, in November.

In February, Australian broadcaster 9News reported he was sentenced to 200 hours of community service as part of a sentence to be served under supervision in the community.

The driver had argued that he did not notice his passenger's attempts to exit, but a magistrate ruled that he had not kept "a proper lookout" as Mr Thomas exited.

The court heard Mr Thomas and his friends were about five minutes from their destination when Mr Thomas, who was in the back seat, opened a rear door and began to get out.

Security footage showed the car's internal light was illuminated for six seconds before Islam began to accelerate, causing Mr Thomas to fall.

Magistrate Mary Ryan noted that Mr Thomas had opened the door "without a word of warning", but said: "Six seconds of light within the car is a significant warning.

"The only explanation is that Mr Islam was much more fatigued than he admitted."

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