ENCINO, CA – An Uber passenger was fatally hit by a patrol car after he jumped over the median in the 101 Freeway close to Encino and ran across the road.
The event took place in the early morning hours of Monday. It was about 3:30 a.m. when the California Highway Patrol (CHP) received a phone call in relation to a strange Uber driver. Officer Weston Haver said they rushed to the area, which was close to Balboa Avenue.
Apparently, the Uber driver had to bring the car to a stop on the westbound side of the 101 Freeway. Since the vehicle stopped in traffic lanes, the circulation was severely interrupted.
The Uber driver, who wants to remain anonymous, declared that he had to stop the car due to an altercation between two passengers.
“They started punching each other and then I had to stop because it was distracting my driving,” he said.
Meanwhile, as a team of officers was breaking traffic on the westbound side of the road, another unit was driving eastbound. The CHP vehicle was heading toward the scene to help solve the issue.
Haver is sure that it was at that moment when one of the passengers run out of the vehicle, a black Honda.
“Without me knowing, he jumped out of the car,” the shocked Uber driver mentioned.
After jumping the dividing line and invading the opposite side lanes, the passenger was struck and killed by the approaching eastbound CHP vehicle.
The other Uber passenger and the driver stayed at the scene while the Highway Patrol officers gathered evidence.
The crash shattered the windshield of the patrol car. Besides that, the officer that was behind the wheel suffered some minor injuries. Nobody else was harmed.
The identity of the victim is unknown, but the authorities did mention he was a man in his 30’s. The cause of the altercation inside the Uber car is also still under investigation.
“It’s a very complex investigation,” declared Haver.
The incident provoked all the 101 Freeway eastbound lanes to be shut down, around White Oak Avenue, for a few hours. A little before 10 a.m. the transit reopened to regular traffic.