A MALTBY man says he is “lucky to be alive” after he was left unconscious in the middle of the road when a taxi driver locked his girlfriend in the vehicle and ran him over.
Martin Malia, 19, and his girlfriend Kirsty Lockwood, 20, have been physically and emotionally scarred by the incident on 15th August, last year.
Taxi driver Muhammed Sarfraz, of Badsley Moor Lane, Rotherham was found guilty of dangerous driving, leaving the scene and failing to report an accident and jailed for 14 months at Sheffield Crown Court last week. He was also disqualified from driving for three years and was warned the UK Border Agency may consider deportation.
The couple had already paid the originally quoted fare for the journey from Rotherham town centre to Mr Malia’s home in Maltby, when Sarfraz demanded they pay an additional fare on arrival at the destination. He then locked Miss Lockwood in the taxi and started to drive off, turning the vehicle around in the cul-de-sac and knocking down Mr Malia.
Mr Malia suffered a brain injury, broken ankle, internal injuries, and a punctured lung. He has had to undergo surgery for his injuries, continues to suffer from memory problems and still has scars showing the taxi’s tyre marks across his chest.
He is undergoing treatment to aid his recovery.
Miss Lockwood said they had just dropped friends off and when they arrived at Mr Malia’s house the driver demanded they pay over the original fare. She asked to see the meter, but Sarfraz refused before Mr Malia got out of the car and the taxi driver drove off with Miss Lockwood inside.
Mr Malia approached the vehicle and as he stood near the vehicle pleading with the driver, Sarfraz set off, knocking Mr Malia to the ground before running him over. Sarfraz then sped off, before briefly stopping to let Miss Lockwood out of the car.
Miss Lockwood said: “It was absolutely terrifying when the driver locked me in the car. I didn’t know what he was going to do.”
“I then had to sit there while he ran Martin down and I could feel the bump as he drove over the top of him. I just remember thinking he’d killed my boyfriend.”
Mr Malia added: “I feel lucky to still be alive after what happened. The whole experience was terrifying and Kirsty and I have both been scarred for life – physically and emotionally.”
Head injury specialists at law firm Irwin Mitchell are now looking to secure a care and rehabilitation package to help Mr Malia.