Uber driver in accident that killed 6-year-old charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter

Courtesy of SFPDSyed Abid Muzaffar

The Uber driver accused of fatally striking 6-year-old Sophia Liu while he was reportedly waiting for a fare in San Francisco on New Year's Eve has been charged by the District Attorney’s Office with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said.

Syed Muzaffar, 57, of Union City, is scheduled to be in court Wednesday morning for arraignment.

Muzaffar was driving around the area of Polk and Ellis streets on Dec. 31, 2013, waiting for a fare to turn up on his Uber app when he struck and killed Liu and injured her 4-year-old brother and 34-year-old mother, prosecutors said.

The case was one of many that has brought greater scrutiny to ride-sharing apps such as Uber. Uber originally denied that Muzaffar was actually working at the time of the incident. Muzaffar’s Uber account was deactivated by the company after the accident.

He was originally booked on vehicular manslaughter and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. After an investigation by the District Attorney’s Office, the decision to charge Muzaffar with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter was found appropriate based on the evidence available, Bastian said.

After an arrest warrant was issued, Muzaffar turned himself in to authorities and was released from custody after paying $50,000 bail, Bastian said.

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