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Taxi passenger falls to his death on M4 Motorway during row over cost of fare

20 Sep 2018

 

An inquest has heard that a man fell to his death on a motorway after getting into a heated argument about the fare of a taxi journey.

29-year-old Tony Pemberton was on a taxi journey home with his girlfriend after a night out drinking in Cardiff when he lost his temper over how much the fare was costing.

The court heard that Mr Pemberton began “thrashing” around in the back of the taxi, hitting the roof of the vehicle several times.

Pemberton’s girlfriend, Sarah Perkins said that “a red mist” came over her boyfriend and he started shouting and kicking the seats directly behind the driver.

The court heard how Miss Perkins suddenly felt a gush of “cold fresh air” in the taxi. Pemberton had smashed the taxis rear passenger window during his fit of range.

Perkins told the court:

“He kept saying he was just going to walk. He was more angry than drunk.

“At some point I felt cold fresh air inside the taxi. I was trying to hold on to him.

“My grip slipped and he turned towards the back of the taxi and he was gone. I just couldn’t understand where he went.”

The taxi was traveling at around 60mph on the M4 between Cardiff and Pyle, on November 11, 2017.

Some motorists were unable to identify the obstruction in the road as being a person, due to the “drizzly and dark” conditions, and drove over Pemberton’s body thinking it may be a piece of wood.

Mr Pemberton died from multiple injuries.

Police believe the window was most likely to of come out in one piece because no loose glass was found within the taxi. The window was never found.

Concluding the inquest, assistant coroner David Reagan, said:

“The only way he could have left the vehicle was through the window.

“I can’t answer whether he intended to leave. But I’m clear he didn’t understand the consequences of his actions.”  

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