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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Uber driver nearly hijacked by drunk passenger


SACRAMENTO (CNN) — An Uber driver in California says he’s lucky he didn’t crash after a drunk passenger tried to grab his steering wheel. 

They ended up wrestling for control of the car while driving 65 mph on a highway in Sacramento. 

The entire incident was caught on a dashcam. Video shows the ride started cordial, as most Uber rides do.

But the three-year veteran of the streets, Albert Castro, says what a passenger did in his car after a pickup Saturday wasn’t anything close to cordial – it was crazy! 

“He goes ‘oh, you’re gonna crash.’ No, I’m not gonna crash. And he says ‘no, no you’re gonna crash’ and he laughs and then drifts away and then two seconds later he pops back up and grabs the wheel and we fly across two lanes of traffic,” Castro said.

Castro, known to his friends as Dax, captured that chaotic moment on his dash cam. 

Smacking his drunk rider’s hand down, while they were going 65 near the southbound Fulton exit on Business 80, he thought he had the situation under control.

His passenger had other plans, putting them frighteningly into action as the car they were in reached the Highway 50-99 interchange. 

“He goes ‘I love you brother’ and he lunges for the wheel and grabs and pulls it,” Castro said. “And it was literally every ounce of strength I had to keep us from – I still don’t know how we didn’t crash.”

Castro was in such a battle for control of his car, he hoped others would see his hazards on and stopped his car in the number two lane of Business 80, trying to keep anyone from getting hurt. 

We now know that this man, Tswj Vang, is the man CHP officers say is facing DUI charges for violently trying to take control of Castro’s car after requesting him as an Uber at the Corner Pocket Sports Bar in Citrus Heights. 

Video on Vang’s public Facebook page shows the 32-year-old partying inside a bar an hour before investigators say he made that second grab at the wheel. 

And he posted a Facebook Live from inside Castro’s car about 20 minutes before his arrest. 

Pushing past the fear, Castro can’t believe just how close his passenger came to taking the life he’s built with now 8 kids and a wife he cherishes. 

“I got even more angry at the other guy because taking away that from me, she’s my everything.”

Castro says he’s been told the suspect cannot use his Uber app anymore. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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