- An Uber driver accepted $US40 to let two teenagers ride on the roof of his Toyota on September 23, a court in the New York City area heard.
- One of the boys, Ryan Mullen, fell from the SUV’s roof and hit his head, an injury from which he later died.
- Driver Danyal Cheema was arraigned in court on Monday, and pleaded not guilty to a manslaughter charge, according to local news reports.
An Uber driver let two teenage passengers ride on the roof of his SUV for a stunt, and one of them died, according to news reports of a court case.
Danyal Cheema allegedly accepted an extra $US40 from three boys in exchange for letting two of them ride on the roof on a trip in Long Island, New York, this September, according to prosecutors cited by ABC7 and NBC New York.
During the trip, 15-year-old Ryan Mullen fell from the roof and hit his head, an injury which later led to his death, the outlets said. The third passenger, a 16-year old boy, filmed the stunt for Snapchat, the reports said.
Cheema was arraigned at the Suffolk County Criminal Court Monday, the news reports said, and is charged with a single count of manslaughter.
In an interview with ABC 7, Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sin said the boys were picked up by Cheema just after midnight at a Long Island 7-Eleven convenience store, and “had been drinking.”
After Mullen had fallen from the car and seriously hit his head during the stunt at “a speed of up to 30 miles-per-hour,” Cheema dropped them off at one of their houses in Huntington, without calling 911, ABC 7 reported.
Mullen died of his injuries in his sleep that night, ABC 7 said. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head according to the medical examiner’s office, NBC said.
“This was an incredibly bad decision by the defendant, and a bad decision by the boys involved, obviously,” Sini said to ABC 7. “But at the end of the day, that defendant is an adult contracted to safely bring those boys home, and he failed to do that.”
The maximum sentence for the charges is 15 years in prison, and ABC 7 reported that police say Cheema has confessed on video.The Daily Beast reported that at the arraignment Cheema pleaded not guilty.
Cheema did not comment on Monday and was given a bail of $US200,000. His licence was also suspended, ABC said. Business Insider has requested comment from his attorney.
In a statement to ABC7, an Uber spokesperson said: “Words cannot describe how deeply troubled we are by this incident. Our thoughts are with the rider’s family during this difficult time. This driver has been permanently removed from the app.”
Uber told Business Insider: “Words cannot describe how deeply troubled we are by this incident. Our thoughts are with the rider’s family during this difficult time. This driver has been permanently removed from the app.”