Uber driver says he almost died when a suspected drunken passenger grabbed the wheel

Uber driver says he almost died when a suspected drunken passenger grabbed the wheel
The suspect, Tswj Vang (left), was arrested on charges of driving under the influence because he allegedly tried to take control of Uber driver Albert "Dax" Castro's car. (Source: Dax Castro/KTXL/Tribune/CNN)

SACRAMENTO, CA (KTXL/CNN) - An Uber driver in California says he may never pick up another passenger after a drunken man allegedly tried to take control of his car by grabbing the wheel – while they were going 65 mph on the freeway.

Though Uber driver Albert “Dax” Castro has had a gun pulled on him and passengers try to have sex in his backseat, he says most rides start with a cordial exchange of hellos and identification verification.

But after he picked up 32-year-old Tswj Vang on Saturday, Castro says what happened wasn’t anything close to cordial. He captured the chaotic ride on his dashcam.

"He goes, 'Oh, you're gonna crash.' I'm like, 'No, I'm not gonna crash.' He's like, 'No, no, you're gonna crash,'" Castro said. "I'm like, 'No.' And … he laughs and drifts away, and then, about two seconds later, he pops back up, grabs the wheel and yanks it. And we fly across two lanes of traffic."

WARNING: The embedded video contains instances of graphic language that have been bleeped.

Castro, who has been driving for Uber for three years, smacked Vang’s hand down while they were going 65 mph on the freeway. He thought he had the situation – and the allegedly drunken passenger – under control.

But Vang apparently had other plans and put them into action just as they reached a highway interchange.

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

The driver says he was in such a battle for control of his car he stopped in the middle of a lane, hoping others would see his hazard lights on. He says he was trying to keep anyone from getting hurt.

Vang allegedly grabbed the steering wheel and pulled it multiple times while Castro's car was on the freeway. (Source: Dax Castro/KTXL/Tribune/CNN)
Vang allegedly grabbed the steering wheel and pulled it multiple times while Castro's car was on the freeway. (Source: Dax Castro/KTXL/Tribune/CNN) (Source: Dax Castro/KTXL/Tribune/CNN)

Officers with the California Highway Patrol arrested Vang. He is facing charges of driving under the influence for allegedly trying to take control of Castro’s car.

Video on the suspect’s Facebook page appears to show him partying inside a bar an hour before investigators say he made that second grab at the wheel. He also posted a Facebook Live video from inside Castro’s car about 20 minutes before his arrest.

Castro says he can’t believe just how close his passenger came to taking the life he’s built with his eight kids and a wife he cherishes.

"I got even more angry at the other guy because taking away that from me is … you know. She’s my everything," Castro said.

Castro has been told Vang can no longer access the Uber app.

Copyright 2019 KTXL, Tribune, Dax Castro, Facebook/Tswj Vang via CNN. All rights reserved.