Philly UberX Driver Gets Tired, Gives Keys to Passenger, Police Chase Ensues

We've heard a lot of stories about UberX, but this is the first time we've heard one quite like this.

The passenger-turned-driver Juan Carlos (left) has been charged. The sleepy UberX driver is not currently facing charges.

The passenger-turned-driver Juan Carlos (left) has been charged. The driver is not currently facing charges.

When Juan Carlos had to get from Philadelphia to his college in lovely upstate New York last Saturday, he for whatever reason, decided that UberX would be the best mode of transportation for the 275-mile journey. Well, the ride didn’t go quite as planned.

New York State Police say that the 20-year-old man wound up in an UberX vehicle being piloted by Corey Robinson, 43, of Philadelphia. The ride began in the wee hours of Saturday morning, and investigators say that Robinson’s eyes were getting heavy, so he allegedly asked Carlos to  drive so that Robinson could get some shuteye. Certainly a better option than Robinson falling asleep behind the wheel. But still.

As Robinson slept, police say that they clocked the 2016 Hyundai Sonata going 86 miles-per-hour on Interstate 81, just beyond the Pennsylvania-New York border in a town called Kirkwood, about 100 miles from their collegiate destination. Police tried to stop the car to issue a speeding ticket, but Carlos sped up and wouldn’t pull over, so the chase continued.

At some point, say police, Robinson woke up and asked Carlos why the hell he was driving so fast, and Carlos responded with something that must have alarmed Robinson even more: Police are chasing us! Investigators say that Robinson told Carlos to pull over but that Carlos said no.

Carlos got off the highway, continuing to flee, and for a short time, it looked like he had escaped the pursuit. Police lost sight of the Hyundai and gave up the chase. But then police discovered that the car had crashed into a guardrail in Colesville, New York. Neither Carlos nor Robinson were found with the vehicle, but police found them after a brief search and took both men into custody. They were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.

Police decided to release Robinson without charges, but Carlos wasn’t quite so lucky: Police charged him with unlawfully fleeing police and driving without a license, among other traffic violations.

Philadelphia magazine has been unable to reach Robinson for comment, but Uber has indicated that his driving privileges with the service have been suspended.

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