Illinois State Police

Driver Who Crashed Into Uber on I-55 Fled Scene of Deadly Accident in Lyft Ride: Prosecutors

He was taken to an area hospital where officials say he had a blood alcohol concentration of .213

The man accused of drunkenly crashing into an Uber driver's vehicle, killing one passenger and injuring others, fled the accident by ordering a Lyft ride from the scene, prosecutors said.

Rami Matariyeh, of Homer Glen, was allegedly driving under the influence at the time of the crash early Sunday morning. A passenger in his vehicle told police the 22-year-old Matariyeh was weaving between lanes on Interstate 55 and dodging cars. The passenger said she begged him to slow down or stop. She ultimately "closed her eyes at that time because she was afraid," according a proffer read during Matariyeh's bond court appearance Tuesday.

Matariyeh's white Infiniti sedan then struck the back of a Hyundai sedan driving as an Uber on the expressway near Damen, police said. The Hyundai sedan, driven by 47-year-old Shantilal Patel of Schaumburg, burst into flames, killing one passenger who was unable to escape the flames, police said.

Prosecutors said a good Samaritan who witnessed the crash rescued the passenger in Matariyeh's vehicle, carrying her over his shoulder to safety. 

A Lyft driver who was not involved in the crash also stopped and recorded footage of the scene before Matariyeh got in the back of the vehicle and asked to leave "because first responders were now there," the proffer read. The Lyft  driver told Matariyeh to download the Lyft application so he could be paid. 

"The [Lyft driver] noticed blood on [Matariyeh's] hands and noticed that the defendant had a strong odor of alcohol emitting from his person," the proffer read. 

The driver took Matariyeh to a gas station in Oak Lawn. 

"During the drive, the witness heard the defendant muttering 'What the f--- did I do?'" the proffer read. 

The driver dropped the man at the gas station and pulled across the street to call 911, prosecutors said. 

After being left at the gas station, prosecutors said Matariyeh contacted and Uber driver to take him home. Police managed to get to the home before Matariyeh was dropped off and were waiting for him as he was "passed out in the rear of the Uber vehicle." 

He was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County where officials say he had a blood alcohol concentration of .213. 

He was identified as the driver of the Inifiti by multiple victims in the crash as well as the good Samaritan who witnessed the accident, authorities said. 

Matariyeh was charged with leaving the scene of a deadly crash, leaving the scene of a crash that caused great bodily harm, aggravated DUI resulting in death, aggravated DUI resulting in great bodily harm and reckless homicide, according to Illinois State Police. 

"Our hearts go out to the victim's family and everyone impacted by this terrible incident," Uber said in a statement. "We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation."

Contact Us