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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Lyft driver involved in fatal accident off I-80 near Roseville

The more we read the details of this fatal Lyft car accident last week, the more we feel really bad for all parties involved in this tragic outcome. A 24-year Lyft passenger lost his life after his Lyft ride slammed into two trees. The real cause of this accident is an unidentified motorist who hit a Kia and caused this vehicle to stall out in the middle lane of the Interstate.

People will accuse ridesharing companies and services as being amateurs. However, the reality of this accident is that it is the first where Lyft must deal with a death. In NYC, a Yellow Cab taxi ran over a woman and onlookers attempted to lift this heavy vehicle off her lifeless body. Sadly, this woman died upon arrival at the hospital. Taxis get into accidents that we don't hear about too often. Deaths do occur.

When a death takes place in ridesharing vehicles, which is extremely rare, it makes national news. It is nothing no company, driver or person wish upon anyone. The worst possible event is a passenger sustaining a debilitating injury and most tragic is a death, such as this the Lyft passenger on Halloween weekend.

In this case, people are leaving comments on websites that this Lyft driver should have anticipated a stalled out vehicle in the middle lane. It was raining heavily on this night. Visibility was poor. Throw into this mix a stalled out vehicle in the middle lane. Needless to say, this is a disastrous scenario.

Where were the CHP? How long was this KIA stalled out in the middle lane? We see CHP in the Bay Area putting on their flashers to protect stalled vehicles. We ask now, "Did anyone call the CHP to report a stalled vehicle?" What about this Kia owner? It is not even safe to sit in a vehicle on a freeway where people are zipping past you, with no care whether they run a vehicle off the road.

It is very unfortunate that this stalled out Kia factored into the death of a ridesharing passenger. It makes ridesharing services appear bad. Could a taxi have avoided this outcome? Could anyone in this Lyft driver's shoes avoid this accident?

What we see here is that this Lyft driver relied on this driving job to survive. We read that he also drove on the UberX ride platform. How is this going to change his life? Will he ever recover with the burden of a death? How will the ridesharing companies he drives for handle his account?

We suspect this accident will change the lives of the people who lost a 24-year old young man. It ended a young life. A 31-year-old Lyft driver may struggle to cope with this loss. Would this result be any different if the 24-year old and his companion were driving in a taxi with the same scenario in front of the them? It so happened that this was a very dangerous event that quickly turned deadly.

Words can't describe what people are feeling right now about this tragic accident. Though Lyft lets down their drivers via deactivations, they are ready to respond to this tragedy with an insurance policy that is designed to protect drivers and passengers in such events. It is first time we heard of a ridesharing vehicle involved in a deadly crash after their insurance policies were expanded this summer in light of a tragic New Year's accident that took the life of a 6-year-old girl.  In this accident, an UberX driver didn't have any passengers in his car and hit multiple people at a cross-walk. These are the only two known ridesharing car accidents involving fatalities.

Naysayers will criticize ridesharing services, especially the taxi industry. Would this outcome be any different if any other vehicle approached a stalled out Kia resting in the middle on a rainy night with limited visibility? Some drivers react fast to objects left in the road. Then, there are other motorists who are paralyzed by the sight of an object blocking their path. It appeared that this Lyft driver swerved out of the way to avoid an impact and crashed into two trees. What would have happened if this Lyft driver smashed into the stalled out Kia? Could there be three fatalities?

On a freeway, we've seen couches, beds, bicycles and other hazardous objects. We called the CHP to report this. We once parked on the side of the road, flashing lights on a couch left in the middle of a major freeway at night, to provide ample light so motorists could see this object. All it takes is one impact to create a chain reaction.

We want to know how long this Kia sat in the middle lane? The Kia owner tried his best to move his vehicle. He risked his life to start this car, even getting thrown back after another truck collided and after the tragic crash which ended the 24-year old young man's life.

We pray for all the families and people involved in this accident. We also feel saddened that this tragedy had to happen, especially to a ridesharing company such as Lyft who is trying to make people's lives better. Very sad and tragic.