Taxi driver arrested as young mother dies falling out of moving cab after row over fare
Last updated at 12:08 PM on 27th May 2008
Katie Bennett, pictured with her daughter Mia, died in hospital from head injuries after falling out of a taxi
A young mother has died after falling from a moving taxi following an apparent disagreement with the driver over her fare.
Katie Bennett, 22, was returning from a night out with friends when the dispute flared up as the taxi arrived near her home.
The other passengers got out but the driver pulled away with the Miss Bennett - who had a two-year-old daughter, Mia - still inside.
It was unclear whether she was already getting out or tried to leap from the cab as it left but she suffered severe head injuries.
She was taken to hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning but died yesterday.
The taxi driver is understood to have driven away from the scene of the accident. He was later arrested and was being questioned by detectives last night.
A family friend, who wished to remain anonymous, said: 'It's a real tragedy. She was a lovely girl who had her whole life in front of her and she is leaving a beautiful baby girl behind who I am sure will miss her mum very much.
'I have spoken to her little sister. She is obviously devastated and finding it hard keeping it together - the whole family is in bits.
The is the stretch of Newchapel High Street, Staffordshire, where Katie Bennett fell out of the moving taxi
'As I understand it the girls went on a night out to a nightclub and they got a cab back home.
'I think there was an argument between the driver and the girls over the amount of money they were paying for the cab and I'm just not sure whether he drove off knowing she was getting out or whether it was a complete accident.
'Either way it is an awful situation. Her little sister said her mother is going to take care of young Mia. It is a shame she will not grow up with her mother around her.'
Petrol station worker Miss Bennett, who had a 14-year-old sister, Becky, went out to the Liquid nightclub in Hanley, Staffordshire, with six friends on Friday night.
The group caught a cab for the five mile journey back to her home town of Newchapel before tempers flared over the fare.
Katie Bennett is thought to have had an argument with the driver before she fell out
Miss Bennett was rushed to University Hospital of North Staffordshire after the accident but staff were unable to save her.
Her parents, Philip and Lesley, who kept a bedside vigil, were said to be 'inconsolable' last night.
Miss Bennett's entry on the Friends Reunited website described how she had previously worked at a solicitor's office in Manchester.
She moved to Newchapel after splitting with Mia's father, who she said had been jailed for a violent attack on two men, and took a job at a Tesco petrol station.
She added: 'I am now in a new relationship wiv a lad called Simon. hes 19 years old n works as a joiner! He's brilliant wiv Mia n thats all that matters!'
A neighbour, who declined to be named, said: 'It's such a shame. They had lived here for two years and had just sold the house and were looking forward to moving back to Manchester.'
Messages have been left on an online tribute page set up by a relative.
An aunt, Christine Bennett, wrote: 'R.I.P my beautiful neice [sic] katie bennett in my heart forever xxxx.'
Friend Jonathan Williams said: 'i will miss u more then [sic] u will ever no u will always b in my thoughts and heart kate..heaven is paradise and i will c u again one day......R.I.P.'
Night out: A people carrier-style taxi similar to the one involved
Staffordshire police confirmed everyone except Katie had left the taxi before the accident.
'One passenger remained in the vehicle, which then moved off,' a spokeswoman said.
'That passenger then fell from the vehicle whilst in motion and suffered severe head injuries as a result.
'The taxi driver involved has been arrested and is helping police with their enquiries.'
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