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Mother of man killed in Lyft crash implores regulators to tighten laws

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From left, Shane Holland, pictured with Brady Lawrence, was killed in a vehicle crash after his Lyft driver collided with a tree. Lawrence and Holland’s mother, Donna Dinapoli, urged the CPUC on Thursday to enhance the regulations on ride-hail companies. (All courtesy photos)
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The mother and the partner of a 24-year-old man killed in a Lyft collision implored the state to issue stricter, safer rules on rideshare vehicles Thursday morning.

The pleas from Donna Dinapoli, of Folsom, and Brady Lawrence, came as the California Public Utilities Commission voted on new regulations for ride-hail companies like Uber and Lyft.

“The loss of my son is a tragedy I live with every day,” she told the commissioners. “I think the lack of regulations of companies like Lyft are putting Californians in danger.”

In 2014, Dinapoli’s son Shane Holland, 24, was killed after his Lyft driver swerved on a rainy Sacramento road at 75 mph and hit a tree, according to court records. Dinapoli alleged the driver had a speeding violation the year before, and drove without proper insurance.

Dinapoli and Lawrence filed a wrongful death suit against Lyft, which in turn claimed in court filings that the driver in question was an independent contractor — which Lyft said frees them from legal responsibility.

Lawrence told the CPUC, “I lost the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. We lost control, hit two trees, and Shane was killed. I had to hold the body of my best friend in a car that night.”

Donna Dinapoli and Brady Lawrence pose for a portrait in San Francisco, Calif. Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Dinapoli filed a wrongful death suit against lyft after her son, Shane Holland, was killed after his Lyft driver collided with a tree in 2014. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Donna Dinapoli and Brady Lawrence pose for a portrait in San Francisco, Calif. Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Dinapoli and Lawrence have filed a wrongful death suit against Lyft after her son, Shane Holland, was killed after his Lyft driver collided with a tree in 2014. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

He continued, “I know you can’t bring Shane back, but you can use your authority to make sure Lyft hires safe drivers … and assumes responsibility when something goes wrong.”

At the same meeting, the CPUC approved new regulations for ride-hail services like Uber and Lyft, but delayed discussion on fingerprinted criminal checks and other safety considerations for the next few years.

Dinapoli said though Lyft reached out to Lawrence, Lyft never offered her personal condolences either verbally or in writing.

The day after the collision Lyft wrote in an email to Lawrence, “We are now aware of the severity of the accident and would like to send our deepest condolences to you and Shane’s loved ones for this terrible loss.”

Previous to that, Lyft offered Lawrence one free ride of up to $25 following the crash.

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  • Kyle Sinclair

    Wow, what a ripoff of reasonable expectation of protections in what is presumed to be a public safety domain. City councils and transportation authorities have all pooped the bed on this ride share fraud. A taxi is still a taxi, there is no cutting edge technology at play here, simply wholesale negligence by regulators who are supposed to look out for public safety. I am sorry for your loss sir and yours as well, ma’am.

  • ibivi

    So sad for Ms Dinapoli. Thanks for her efforts against Lyft. We are fighting such companies here in Canada. They should not be allowed to operate without full compliance as all regular taxis are required to by law. Best wishes.

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