SACRAMENTO – An Uber driver's dashcam recorded the terrifying moment his allegedly drunk passenger threatened to crash the car, wrestling for control of the steering wheel as they drove at high speed down a California highway, according to police.
Driver Albert Castro told KTXL he has had a gun pulled on him by a passenger in a hurry and had to stop people from having sex in his backseat. But he never thought he'd have to struggle with a passenger for the steering wheel.
Most rides start with a cordial exchange of hellos and identification verifications but, according to Castro, what happened that evening was not anything close to cordial - it was crazy.
"He goes, 'Oh, you're gonna crash.' I'm like, 'No, I'm not gonna crash.' He's like, 'No, no, you're gonna crash,'" said Uber driver Albert Castro. "I'm like, 'No.' And he's like, 'Ah,' and he laughs and then drifts away. And then about two seconds later he pops back up, grabs the wheel and yanks it and we fly across two lanes of traffic."
Castro, who has been driving for Uber for three years, captured the chaotic moment on his dashcam.
He smacked his drunken rider's hand down while they were going 65 mph near the southbound Fulton exit on Business 80. He thought he had the situation under control.
His passenger had other plans, putting them frighteningly into action as the car they were in reached the Highway 50 and Highway 99 interchange.
"He goes, 'I love you, brother.' And he lunges for the wheel and grabs and pulls it," Castro recalled. "And it literally was every ounce of strength I had to keep us from ... I still don't know how we didn't crash."
Castro was in such a battle for control of his car he hoped others would see his hazards on and stopped his car in the number two lane of Business 80. He was trying to keep anyone from getting hurt.
Tswj Vang is the man CHP officers say is facing DUI charges for violently trying to take control of Castro's car. Vang was picked up at the Corner Pocket Sports Bar in Citrus Heights.
Video on Vang's public Facebook page shows the 32-year-old partying inside a bar an hour before investigators say he made that second grab at the wheel.
He posted a Facebook Live from inside Castro's car around 20 minutes before his arrest.
Pushing past the fear, Castro could not believe just how close his passenger came to taking the life he's built with his eight kids and a wife he cherishes.
"I got even more angry at the other guy because taking away that from me is ... You know, she's my everything," Castro said.
Castro has been told the rider he fought with can no longer access the Uber app.