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An Uber driver in New York was charged with second-degree manslaughter Monday after a 15-year-old boy died after falling off the vehicle’s roof while “car surfing,” Newsday reported.
Danyal Cheema, 24, of Huntington Station, was charged by Suffolk County prosecutors for the September incident that killed Ryan Mullen, the newspaper reported.
Mullen suffered a brain injury and died hours after arriving at a friend’s house after the ride, WABC reported.
Cheema pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday, Newsday reported. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison.
Authorities said that teenagers allegedly offered Cheema $40 to allow them to ride on the roof of his 2010 Toyota Highlander on Sept. 23, WPIX reported. Cheema took the money and at least one of the teens “surfed” on the car while his friends posted a video on Snapchat, the television station reported.
Mullen’s injury was not readily apparent, WPIX reported. He died in his sleep, and officials said the cause was from his skull and brain injury, the television station reported.
Mullen’s parents were outraged over the incident.
“There was an adult present, and the adult should have said, 'No, that's a bad decision. You're not allowed to do that.,” Janice Mullen told WABC.
"What if the driver was responsible enough to say no?" Matthew Mullen told the television station.
In a statement, Uber said that Cheema has been permanently removed from the company’s app.
"Words cannot describe how deeply troubled we are by this incident,
Uber said in its statement. “Our thoughts are with the rider's family during this difficult time.”
“The defendant made a reckless decision and engaged in reckless conduct that caused the death of a young boy, and he will be held accountable,” Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said.