A tired Uber driver from Philadelphia who allowed his passenger to drive his car last year while he slept awoke to find his fare leading police on a high-speed chase in upstate New York. It ended when the rider crashed the vehicle, according to a lawsuit filed in Bronx County Court.
Uber driver Corey Robinson, 44, filed his suit last month against the passenger, Juan Carlos, of the Bronx, and Uber Technologies, for negligence.
According to the suit, Robinson drove a leased 2016 Hyundai "under the direction and acknowledgment" of Uber and payments for the car's lease were deducted from his Uber paycheck.
On April 2, Carlos, then 20, hired Robinson to drive him two hours from Philadelphia to the Bronx, according to the lawsuit.At some point during the trip, Robinson "fell into peril" when he became too tired to continue driving and allowed Carlos to take the wheel while he napped, according to the lawsuit.
Troopers along I-81 in Binghamton, N.Y., clocked Carlos driving at 86 mph in a 65-mph zone. When they tried to stop him, he stepped on the gas instead, New York State Police said in a news release.
Carlos exited I-81 in Colesville, N.Y., where he "forcefully came into contact" with a guardrail and went off of the road into an "earthen field," according to the lawsuit.
In an April 5 article from the New York Post that was attached to the lawsuit, Robinson told a reporter that he awoke from his nap because the vehicle was going so fast he "thought the car was leaving the ground."
"I told him to stop the car and he said 'The police are chasing us,' " Robinson told the Post.
Following the crash, Robinson said Carlos was laughing, according to the Post story.
Police said that they took both Carlos and Robinson into custody but that Robinson was later released. Carlos was arrested and charged with fleeing police and driving without a license.
Requests to the District Attorney's Office in Broome County, N.Y., about the status of Carlos' criminal case were not returned.
Robinson claims he suffered injuries in the crash that caused him to become "sick, sore, lame and disabled" and that nothing that happened that day was "due to any negligence or culpable conduct" on his part.
An Uber spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit, but did confirm that both Robinson and Carlos were banned from using Uber in April.
Attempts to reach Robinson and Carlos were unsuccessful. Robinson's lawyer, David DeToffol of the Bronx, did not return a request for comment.