Last Thursday, an Uber ride in St. Petersburg, Florida, ended tragically when passenger Terry Lynn Kimball, 56, passed away in the hospital after suffering severe brain trauma due to a punch from driver Kabir O'Farril Diaz, 38.
WPTV reported that while Diaz has not been charged thus far, police continue to look into the incident for answers. They stated that the two men had begun arguing in the car over the route, and when Diaz pulled over into a convenience store parking lot, things escalated into a physical fight. A punch from Diaz struck Kimball unconscious, apparently damaging his brain enough that he was unable to regain consciousness. After more than 24 hours in the hospital, Kimball passed away.
“The driver decided to pull into the parking lot of this convenience store,” said police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez to WFLA. “They got out and then it turned physical, and right after that there was one punch and the victim ended up unconscious.”
“I saw this guy just lying on the ground and some woman was pressing on his chest to bring him back,” said Carlton Reid, a passerby who came to the scene shortly after the brawl.
According to the Australian-based group One Punch Can Kill, deaths as a result of a single punch are more common than people realize. While the public understandably assumes that most times the initial blow can start a fight, they are often ignorant to the fact that it can sometimes finish the fight, too.
"People are very much focused on penetrating injuries, but actually punching someone in the head can be just as lethal," Duncan Bew, a consultant in trauma at Kings College in the United Kingdom, explained to the BBC. A single blow can be devastating enough to cause severe brain damage, trigger a physiological response in the person to stop breathing, or cause the person to fall and hit their head on an unforgiving surface.
In the majority of these cases, while passions are heated, there is no intent to kill — it's simply a fist fight gone horribly wrong.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Flickr user Mark Warner