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Uber driver guilty of death of a British man, 30, who died after opening cab door into oncoming bus

An Uber driver whose passenger died when he got out of the car and was hit by a bus has been found guilty of negligent driving occasioning death. 

Nazrul Islam, 32, denied responsibility after the death of Englishman Samuel Thomas, 30, who was struck at the intersection of Elizabeth and Bathurst streets in Sydney’s CBD at 3am on June 17, 2017.

Mr Thomas had been drinking at a birthday party with colleagues in Strathfield before catching the Uber with friends Stephen Ronning and Greg Hensman.

Uber driver Nazrul Islam, 32, (pictured) denied responsibility after the death of Englishman Samuel Thomas, 30

Thomas (pictured) who was struck at the intersection of Elizabeth and Bathurst streets in Sydney's CBD at 3am on June 17, 2017

Thomas (pictured) who was struck at the intersection of Elizabeth and Bathurst streets in Sydney’s CBD at 3am on June 17, 2017

In Downing Centre Local Court on Monday, magistrate Mary Ryan found the driver ‘did not keep a proper lookout’ when Mr Thomas opened a rear passenger door while stopped at a red light before he accelerated.  

She said both of the victim’s ‘intoxicated’ friends were awoken by the sound of the door and – as captured on CCTV on the bus – Islam’s car’s internal light also came on.

‘Six seconds of light within the car is a significant warning and, in my view, Mr Islam should have been alerted to something being amiss,’ the magistrate said.

Ms Ryan said the ‘only explanation is that Mr Islam was much more fatigued than he admitted’ and she was not convinced he had slept during his breaks for as long as he testified.

She found the driver worked for 21 hours before the incident and despite indicating he had seven hours of sleep, it was not continuous rest.

Mr Thomas had been drinking at a birthday party with colleagues in Strathfield and caught the Uber towards Pitt Street with friends Stephen Ronning (pictured) and Greg Hensman

Mr Thomas had been drinking at a birthday party with colleagues in Strathfield and caught the Uber towards Pitt Street with friends Stephen Ronning (pictured) and Greg Hensman

Hannah Thomas, sister of Samuel Thomas (centre) and Stephen Ronning, a friend of Samuel Thomas (right) leave the Downing Centre Court in Sydney

Hannah Thomas, sister of Samuel Thomas (centre) and Stephen Ronning, a friend of Samuel Thomas (right) leave the Downing Centre Court in Sydney

‘I find that he is guilty of the charge of negligent driving occasioning death beyond a reasonable doubt,’ she said. 

‘I was ready to drive Friday night as long as possible because it would be a busy night,’ Islam said through an interpreter, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Islam – who arrived from Bangladesh in early 2013 but only became an Uber driver three weeks before the incident – said he couldn’t recall the ‘exact destination’ the three men had requested but ‘my GPS was advising me still four to five minutes to go’. 

Outside court, the victim’s sister, Hannah Thomas, told reporters her brother was ‘sweet and funny’ and ‘this was his dream’ to be in Australia.

‘We love him and miss him and we just hope today is some closure for us and for him,’ she said.

Magistrate Mary Ryan found the driver 'did not keep a proper lookout' when Mr Thomas (pictured) opened a rear passenger door while stopped at a red light before he accelerated

Magistrate Mary Ryan found the driver ‘did not keep a proper lookout’ when Mr Thomas (pictured) opened a rear passenger door while stopped at a red light before he accelerated

Nazrul Islam (centre) arrived at the Downing Centre Local Courts in Sydney where magistrate Mary Ryan found he 'did not keep a proper lookout' when Mr Thomas opened a rear passenger door while stopped at a red light before he accelerated

Nazrul Islam (centre) arrived at the Downing Centre Local Courts in Sydney where magistrate Mary Ryan found he ‘did not keep a proper lookout’ when Mr Thomas opened a rear passenger door while stopped at a red light before he accelerated

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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