“No family should go through this pain. ... It’s a club that no one should be part of.”
These are the heartbreaking words of Matt Mullen, whose son was killed in September after a social media stunt involving Uber went horribly wrong.
Police say that Mullen’s son, Ryan, offered to pay Uber driver Danyal Cheema for the chance to "car surf," i.e., ride on the top of his vehicle.
Cheema agreed, and in the process of the stunt, Ryan fell off, hitting his head on the pavement in Huntington Station on Long Island.
Instead of taking Ryan to the hospital, Cheema dropped him and his friend off at their destination. Cheema has been charged with manslaughter, but he has pleaded not guilty.
The incident, which was captured on video, shows Ryan’s confused look after his head hit the pavement, which his father believes “should have been a signal to reach out for medical attention,” according to WNBC-TV.
“Ryan died in his sleep,” said his father. “He had a traumatic brain injury, fractured skull and cranial bleeding.”
Ryan’s community has stepped up to show their support in multiple ways, including the selling of t-shirts and bracelets in an effort to “keep Ryan’s spirit alive.”
Ultimately, Ryan’s parents aim to warn others about the dangers of attempting reckless stunts in hopes of gaining social media glory.
“It’s thinking you’re invincible, that you really can’t get hurt,” said Janice Mullen, Ryan’s mother. "I don't know how I would have managed the last few months without his friends.”
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