Lyft passenger killed after being ejected when rear-ended, NCSHP says


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A 26-year-old man was thrown from a ride-share vehicle and died after it was rear-ended along N.C. 147 in Durham early Tuesday morning, troopers said.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol said the deadly crash happened around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday near Ellis Road on the Durham Freeway.

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A 2017 Mercedes Benz was headed north at a high rate of speed and ran into the back of a 2017 Toyota. Lyft confirmed the Toyota was driving for the ride-share service at the time. The Mercedes overturned and came to a rest on the road. The Toyota went off the road and struck the cable guardrail.

The passenger in the Toyota, 26-year-old Daniel Joseph Watt, of New York, died after he was ejected from the car. The Highway Patrol said Watt was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision.

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Its driver, a 26-year-old from Raleigh, was taken to the hospital, troopers said.

Lyft released the following statement:

“We are heartbroken by this tragic incident. Our hearts are with the rider’s family during this incredibly difficult time, and we’ve attempted to reach out to them as well as the driver to offer our support. We stand ready to assist law enforcement however we can.” 

Alcohol and speed are both believed to be factors in the crash, according to a statement from Sgt. Marcus Bethea with NCSHP.

The driver of the Mercedes, 41-year-old Gregory Allen Coley of Durham was taken to the hospital, too. Troopers expect him to face charges.

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