A normally routine trip for an Australian woman using ride-hailing service Uber went horribly wrong Friday afternoon, and she is accusing the driver of attacking and running her over, Daily Mail Australia reported.
A resident of Queensland’s Gold Coast, 24-year-old Sascha Pangallo has been a daily user of the service, but as she alleged in a Facebook post— which includes photos of her injuries — her interaction with the driver turned violent.
Dubbed the “psychotic/mentally unstable driver aka ‘Paul,’” by Pangallo in the post, she said he refused to put her destination into the GPS, and asked her to direct him instead, “which I had no problem with,” she wrote.
But during a crucial direction moment, Pangallo indicated she was on an important phone call, and the driver, “snapped and screamed at me in a very aggressive manner,” she wrote.
Then Pangallo wrote that he yelled for her to get out of the car while “getting very physical, grabbing me and trying to drag me out of the car.”
But then, according to the Gold Coast woman, “Paul” noticed there were witnesses and they were contacting police.
At that moment, she wrote, he “panicked” and sped away like an “absolute maniac.”
And then it got worse.
“My door was still open as I was frantically trying to grab my bags out of the car and before I could get away I was thrown to the ground and my leg was being run over,” Pangallo wrote.
As per her Facebook post, Pangallo has been hospitalized for “a suspected blood clot and possible broken leg.” She also sustained arm and leg bruises, plus “a huge burn/severe skin abrasion” where the tire ran over her leg.
In her post, Pangallo said she had been “pro-Uber” for a long time, but vowed to never use the service again.
“We have a strict policy to deactivate any partner that exhibits aggressive or abusive behavior and we have removed this driver from our platform,” Uber spokesperson Caspar Nixon said to Daily Mail Australia.
“Safety is our top priority and we will work with the authorities on their investigation. Our thoughts are with the injured woman and we wish her a full and speedy recovery,” Nixon said.
According to Daily Mail Australia, “Paul” held a Taxi category Driver Authorization from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, meaning he was approved to drive a taxi in Queensland after completion of a criminal background, driving history and medical check.
Uber has taken off in Australia since being introduced in April 2014. According to The Australian, 15,000 drivers have been hired in that span of time, with that number expected to exceed 20,000 by the end of the year.
The Australian said with these numbers Uber is, in effect, one of Australia’s top 20 employers.