Cabbie abandons passenger with appendicitis

THE mother of a York student has demanded an apology after claiming her son was abandoned by a taxi driver while suffering with severe abdominal pains which turned out to be appendicitis.

Luke Sandland, a languages student at University of York, phoned for a taxi in the early hours of last Sunday morning, after suffering from what was found to be an infected appendix which later had to be removed.

Luke, 21, said: “I couldn’t sleep all night, so at about 5am I decided to go to the hospital, but I didn’t think an ambulance was necessary.

“I told him I thought I was going to be sick. He started pulling up, but I was sick out of the window, although I didn’t get any on the car. He pulled up and I opened the door and was sick again.”

At that point, near the Sainsbury store in Foss Bank, the driver of the taxi asked Luke to get out of the car, and drove away. Luke then had to walk the rest of the way to hospital.

He was later told his appendix was infected and necrotic and he was kept in hospital until Monday when it was removed. Doctors said if he had not made it to the hospital, the consequences could have been fatal.

Adrian Smith, director of 659 Taxis, said he had discussed the incident with the driver in question, who maintained Luke had been sick in the vehicle.

Mr Smith said: “Each driver is self-employed and it’s their decision whether or not to carry people. “He’s made a judgement call because the lad has been sick in his car. If he’d said ‘I’ve got appendicitis’, or ‘My arm is cut open’, I’m sure he would have taken him to hospital, but it happens on a regular basis, people getting in the car and being sick, then being asked to leave the vehicle.”

Both Luke and his mother, Gill, contacted the firm to request an apology, but both said none had been forthcoming, although Mr Smith said an apology had been offered by a supervisor at the firm during the calls.

Gill said: “What annoys me is that they assumed he was just a drunk student, and they shouldn’t have.

“The fact he was doubled up in pain and he felt sick, and asked the taxi driver to take him to A&E, didn’t that ring any bells?”

Luke said: “I asked them if a pregnant lady was in the back seat and her waters broke, would they stand by and kick her out?

“Their response was ‘you’re not a pregnant lady’. I think that’s outrageous.”

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