Man hit by Uber in ICU: fiancée tells of horror night

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Man hit by Uber in ICU: fiancée tells of horror night

Pretoria North woman says they told allegedly 'reckless' driver to pull over, then he drove over her fiancé's leg

Journalist


The last thing Linda Bennett said to her fiancé Beyers Serfontein before he was hit by an Uber taxi was: “Baby, just leave it!”
Serfontein, who is in critical condition in hospital, had wanted to retrieve their cooler box from the boot of the car after asking the driver to drop them off because he believed he was driving recklessly. This was at about 2am on Saturday, on John Vorster Avenue in Centurion, between Pretoria and Midrand.
“The driver slammed on the brakes and then stopped ... I got out on the left. He got out on the right,” Bennet told Times Select from Unitas Hospital in Centurion.
Serfontein, 45, walked towards the driver’s window, asking him to let them get their belongings out of the boot.
“I said: ‘Baby, just leave it’.”
He turned back and walked towards her but then the driver “spun around and hit him”.
As he fell, the driver drove over his leg.
“I put my hands up and shouted: ‘No!’”
Bennett spent most of Monday next to Serfontein’s hospital bed, where he is on a ventilator in the intensive care unit. Cousins and other relatives spoke in hushed tones when they visited him.
She described the incident as “unnecessary and deliberate”.
Uber has confirmed it was one of its drivers, saying the matter was under investigation. His access to the app had been blocked while the investigation was under way. The police said the car had been impounded.
“He sped off, leaving me helpless. There is no way it was an accident. It was so unnecessary to do this,” said Bennett.
The couple, who have been together for three years, had called the Uber to take them to their home in Pretoria North, since it was “too far to drive” after a few drinks at his uncle’s home.
His uncle, Leon Botha, said the pair spent Saturday night visiting him, watching rugby and eating potjie.
Botha said he watched them leave and greeted the Uber driver who “wouldn’t make eye contact”.
A woman in a nearby flat heard Bennett’s screams and called the police and an ambulance.
“He is a gentle giant, I have never seen him angry in my whole life. I have known him 40 years,” said Botha.
Police spokesperson Captain Andre Breedt said no arrests had been made yet.
“The case was opened on Sunday. More statements were given in this [Monday] morning. No arrests have taken place yet. The vehicle was impounded for investigation. At this stage the charges are reckless and negligent driving.
“More charges could be added later on. The investigation will continue. This will lead [us to understand] what happened.”
Bennett said Uber had not been in contact with her, while an Uber spokesperson would only say the matter was being looked into, declining further requests for information.

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