A New York-based Uber driver was charged with second-degree manslaughter this week in connection with the death of a 15-year-old boy who authorities said struck his head while “car surfing” on his moving vehicle.
Per ABC News, Danyal Cheema, 24, was charged Monday for his alleged role in the September 23 death of Ryan Mullen. Prosecutors said Cheema had picked up Mullen and two other teen passengers and accepted their $40 offer to allow Mullen and another passenger to stand atop his 2010 Toyota Highlander at an intersection.
“Mullen then fell off the vehicle and struck his head on the roadway,” a statement said. “Mullen, who had suffered severe head trauma, succumbed to his injuries in his sleep later that day.”
One of the teens reportedly recorded and posted the car surfing stunt to Snapchat. Another video captures the moments after Mullen’s fatal fall, according to WCBS.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini said the three boys were drinking on the night in question. However, he said that doesn’t absolve Cheema as he failed in his responsibility to safely get them home. Citing police, WABC reported that Cheema confessed on video.
In a statement to ABC, Uber said they were “deeply troubled” by the incident and said Cheema was permanently removed from their app. WCBS reported that his driver’s license was also suspended.
“This was an incredibly bad decision by the defendant, a bad decision by the boys involved, obviously,” Sini said, according to WABC. “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.”
[Featured Image: Danyal Cheema/Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office; Ryan Mullen/WCBS]