MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida man was trying to do the right thing by getting in an Uber car after a night out with friends. But Pablo Sanchez Jr. would never make it home after a violent crash and explosion in southwest Miami-Dade.
Now, his parents have filed a lawsuit demanding that Uber take responsibility for the fatal crash.
Pablo Sanchez Sr. said he is still mourning the loss of his son, better known as Pablito, who was killed in the crash just two days after Christmas.
"This should not have happened," the family's attorney, Andrew Yaffa, said.
The Sanchez family was joined by Yaffa Tuesday when they announced the lawsuit against those involved in the crash, including Uber.
"He and his three friends entrusted their lives to Uber and the driver," Yaffa said.
The crash happened at the intersection of Southwest 144th Street and 157th Avenue.
The suit claims that Uber driver Jean Adam was driving Sanchez and his three friends home after a night out.
The suit alleges that Adam, who was driving a GMC Yukon, turned left into an oncoming Corolla. Sanchez's side of the Yukon took all of the impact, and the SUV flipped over and exploded.
"This driver was observed to be either nodding off, dropping his head. I don't know if he was falling asleep or looking down to engage in some sort of texting on the telephone," Yaffa said.
The suit claims that Uber failed to ensure the safety of Sanchez and has little if any policy in place for stopping drivers from working too many hours. A formal police investigation has not finished, but the family says they know what happened.
"I think it was negligence, because I'm a commercial driver myself, and I would never make a left hand turn on oncoming traffic," Sanchez Sr. said. "It cost my kid his life."
The driver of the Corolla is also named in the lawsuit, as the Sanchez family believes he may have been speeding.
Everyone else involved in the crash suffered minor injuries.
An Uber representative told Local 10 News that their thoughts are with the Sanchez family, but could not comment further because of the pending suit.