An Uber passenger led the state police on a high-speed chase down I-81 after taking over the wheel of his driver's car on Saturday morning. Juan Carlos, a Bronx resident, called an Uber to take him from Philadelphia to Herkimer Community College in Upstate New York—a nearly 300-mile trip—and switched places with his driver, Corey Robinson, partway through the ride, when Robinson told him he was getting too tired to drive, state police said.
At about 5:35 a.m., Carlos was nearing the three-hour mark of his trip, and was driving at about 86 miles an hour—more than 20 miles over the posted speed limit, according to the authorities. State troopers noticed the 2016 Hyundai Sonata zooming by and tried to get Carlos to pull over, but he sped up instead, and the police lost sight of him.
It was at that point that the Uber driver woke up and, alarmed, asked Carlos why he was driving so quickly. Carlos said the police were after him, and Robinson demanded that he pull over, but Carlos refused, police said.
"I thought the car was leaving the ground," Robinson told the NY Post. "I just kept telling him to 'stop the car, stop the car, stop the car!'...He said he was going to stop, but then he just started speeding up."
Not much later, however, Carlos crashed the car into a guardrail in the town of Colesville, and police caught up to them.
Both Carlos and Robinson were treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital, and were then taken into custody. Robinson was released without charges, but Carlos was charged with unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and driving without a license, among other charges, according to state police.
Robinson, who reportedly injured his shoulder in the crash, told the Post that he wants to take legal action against Carlos, and that he saw him laughing after the collision.
According to Uber, Carlos has been suspended from using Uber, and Robinson has been suspended as a driver. Ironically, Uber posted an article to its blog yesterday morning warning of the dangers of driving when tired, appearing to market the app as a solution to tired driving.