Uber driver caused death of British man who was hit by bus after getting out of car in Australia
Nazrul Islam failed to keep ‘proper lookout’, says magistrate
Driver Nazrul Islam had stopped at a red light in the early hours of June 17, 2017, when 30-year-old Samuel Thomas, from Hertfordshire in England, started to get out of the taxi.
Mr Thomas was killed when Islam accelerated and he fell into the path of the bus.
Islam, 32, denied responsibility for his passenger's death, arguing he did not notice Mr Thomas’s attempts to leave his car.
But a magistrate ruled he had failed to keep “a proper lookout” and had not exercised “reasonable care”, local media reported.
The court heard Mr Thomas and his two friends had been drinking at a house party, before getting a taxi home.
When they were about five minutes from their destination, Mr Thomas opened one of the rear doors and began to get out.
Footage from a camera on the bus showed the car’s internal light was illuminated for six seconds, then Islam started to drive, causing Mr Thomas to fall.
Magistrate Mary Ryan pointed out Mr Thomas had opened the door “without a word of warning”, but said: “Six seconds of light within the car is a significant warning.”
She said both of the victim’s “intoxicated” friends were woken by the sound of the door and the car’s internal light also came on.
“The only explanation is that Mr Islam was much more fatigued than he admitted,” she said.
Islam told the court he had slept for seven hours, but his rest was broken up between driving jobs.
After the verdict Mr Thomas’s sister, Hannah, said: “We love him and miss him and we just hope that today is some closure for us and for him.”
Islam will be sentenced in January.