Driver in fatal self-driving Uber crash was convicted of armed robbery, reports say

Posted at 5:55 PM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 21:17:51-04

(KGTV) -  The safety driver behind the wheel of an autonomous Uber vehicle that struck and killed a woman in Arizona is a convicted felon, according to ABC affiliate KABC.

The driver, identified as 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez, was in the self-driving car when it fatally hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she crossed an unlit Tempe, Ariz., roadway outside of a crosswalk with her bicycle.

Court documents showed someone with the same name and birthdate served more than four years for two felony convictions: One for making false statement when obtaining unemployment benefits and the other for armed robbery, according to KABC.

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While the crash has raised concerns over Uber's driver screening policy, the company states "everyone deserves a fair chance" in regards to employing those with a criminal record.

Uber said Vasquez met the company's hiring requirements, KABC reported. While Uber bans drivers convicted of violent crimes of a felony within the last seven months, Vasquez's offenses occurred outside the seven-year timeframe.

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The fatal collision is still being investigated by company officials and Arizona authorities.