An ex-Lyft driver is now being charged with vehicular manslaughter after killing his seventy-year-old passenger in a fatal car accident. The accident took place in Tustin, California on April 4th when the Lyft driver fell asleep at the wheel and caused a deadly crash.
There have been plenty of cases involved with driving services such as Uber and Lyft, but is one safer than the other? With the latest death related to the popular apps, it’s time we take a look at which service has had a history of violent cases. Uber versus Lyft: which driving service is the safest option?
The latest murder case involving Lyft
At 7 AM on April 4th, Lyft driver Andy Van Pham fell asleep at the wheel while driving his customer Margie Quibol. Pham lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a light pole. Seventy-year-old Quibol was sent to the hospital but sadly died from her injuries.
Despite the accident occurring on April 4th, Pham was not arrested until July 21st. According to jail records, the thirty-year-old Lyft driver was booked at Orange County, California. Pham’s bail is set at $10,000.
“After an extensive investigation by the Tustin Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team, it was determined the driver, 30-year-old Andy Van Pham was driving with negligence, resulting in the death of the victim,” authorities announced in a statement.
On Wednesday, Pham was taken into police custody for the fatal accident which occurred more than two months prior. His first court appearance took place on Friday where he pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charge.
In addition to manslaughter, Pham also pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, providing false information to a police officer, and making an unsafe turn or lane change, according to the East Bay Times. It has been reported that Pham is set to return to court on August 9th for a pretrial hearing in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
Previous scandals involving Lyft
This wouldn’t be the first time this rideshare app was involved in a dangerous accident. In March 2020, two Lyft passengers filed a civil lawsuit after being involved in a terrifying accident in 2019. The two passengers were on a Lyft ride when their driver began driving at extremely high speeds and even ignored their demands to stop the car and let them leave. Then, the Lyft driver crashed into another vehicle in Burbank.
Aside from accidental crashes, Lyft has also been reported with cases of sexual assault. In December 2020, mass tort claims were filed against Lyft for their numerous cases of sexual misconduct. The victims claim that Lyft doesn’t properly screen its drivers and fails to protect its female passengers.
These lawsuits “claim the company knows it has a ‘sexual predator crisis’ but has declined to implement ‘obvious and straightforward safety procedures’,” according to the San Jose Mercury News. It was also reported that “lawyers for the plaintiffs plan to add hundreds more alleged victims” to this mass tort action.
Cases of accidents & sexual assault with Uber
So, Lyft versus Uber? Despite Lyft’s not-so-terrific track record, Uber also doesn’t have a clear record when it comes to safety precautions. In 2015, a husband & wife were in an Uber when the driver failed to yield to oncoming traffic. As a result, the husband broke his leg and his wife suffered from a severe brain injury that required multiple surgeries. The couple alleged that Uber failed to ensure proper training and supervision of its drivers.
Additionally, two women suffered from sexual assault at the hands of an Uber driver in 2015. The first victim claimed that the driver had tried to sexually assault her while driving. He then stopped the car and continued to assault the victim.
The second victim alleged that the same driver questioned her ability to pay for her ride and suggested she pay him with a sexual favor. He then drove to a remote location and raped the victim. The case was settled in 2016, yet the terms are confidential.
It seems that the answer to Lyft versus Uber is unclear due to the rideshare apps’ equally dark past. When it comes to using driving services such as these it’s best that riders take every precaution necessary to avoid dangerous drivers. Which rideshare company do you think is safer? Lyft versus Uber? Let us know in the comments below!