Victoria cab driver killed in 2015 crash was on cocaine, pot: report
A Victoria taxi driver who was killed in a high-speed crash last summer had been drinking, smoking marijuana and using cocaine in the hours prior to the collision, a coroner’s report has found.
The report also found the driver, who worked for Yellow Cab of Victoria, was travelling at nearly double the speed limit and wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when his vehicle slammed into a utility pole on Gorge Road East on July 3, 2015.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, while three passengers he was transporting were taken to hospital for their injuries, two of them in life-threatening condition.
Mohamed Shariff Abdi, 44, had no pre-existing medical issues but was known to have a history of alcohol and substance abuse, the report said.
It says around 1:40 a.m. that night, “Mr. Abdi picked up three men in downtown Victoria and drove them to a local nightclub where he joined them inside for approximately 20 minutes. Mr. Abdi was observed to consume alcohol during this time.”
He then drove to another location downtown where he stopped and waited for his passengers for five minutes, then continued onto Blanshard Street before turning onto Gorge Road East, according to the report.
A witness noted the vehicle was travelling at a “very high rate of speed,” later determined to be nearly 80 kilometres an hour on the 40 km/h limit road, just before the crash.
At around 2:30 a.m., Abdi’s taxi slammed into a utility pole without any signs of braking.
None of the passengers in the vehicle could recall the events preceding the crash due to the severity of their injuries.
Investigators determined the crash wasn’t caused by mechanical failure, and a toxicology test performed on Abdi found that while he was below the legal limit for alcohol, he had smoked marijuana within an hour of his death.
Cocaine was also detected in Abdi “in a range where non-lethal concentrations overlap those detected in fatal overdoses,” the report said.
“Given the level of cocaine detected, and the additive effect of the presence of alcohol and cannabis, it is likely that Mr. Abdi’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired.”
At the time, family told CTV News that Abdi had moved to Victoria from Somalia and had a wife and two children under the age of 10.
The death was classified as accidental and the coroner made no recommendations in regards to the file.