Uber driver guilty of causing drunk Brit passenger’s death after he opened door and jumped out in front of bus

Samuel Thomas, 30, was halfway out of the vehicle when driver Nazrul Islam, 31, accelerated from traffic lights in the city centre.

The Uber driver had denied responsibility, but was today found guilty of negligent driving occasioning death.

Mr Thomas, of Hertfordshire, left the car while it was at the lights, and was hit by a passing bus at 3.14am on June 17 in 2017.

At the Downing Centre Local Court, magistrate Mary Ryan said that Islam had not kept a proper watch of his passenger and should have seen the interior light come on when the door opened.

She alluded to evidence from the security camera footage that showed the car was illuminated for six seconds before the car accelerated.

Ms Ryan said: “The light was not dim, the footage shows it was brightly shining.”

According to ABC News, she was not convinced that Islam had had enough uninterrupted sleep in the 24 hours before his shift.

The Uber driver had told the court he had slept for seven hours – but this was broken up in chunks between driving jobs.

The magistrate added: “I am not entirely convinced he slept as long as he did. He was not as alert as his two remaining intoxicated passengers.


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

At a hearing earlier this year, the court heard that Islam had collected Mr Thomas and two mates from a party in Sydney’s inner-west, and they were “significantly affected by alcohol”.

The magistrate said that when the car was five minutes from arriving at its destination, Mr Thomas “left the motor vehicle without a word of warning” and “made an error of judgment that cost him his life”.

She found Islam, “guilty of the charge of negligent driving occasioning death beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The Uber driver will be sentenced in January.

After his conviction, Mr Thomas’s sister, Hannah, told reporters: “My brother was sweet and funny and this was his dream to be here.

“We love him and miss him and we just hope that today is some closure for us and for him.”

Islam arrived in Australia in early 2013, but only started working as an Uber driver three weeks before the fatality, MailOnline reports.



 

 

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