Dad killed when he jumped out of taxi window on M4 after row over £70 fare

A dad was killed after he jumped out of a taxi on a motorway after having an argument over a £70 fare.

Tony Pemberton and girlfriend Sarah Perkins were in the back of a cab on the way home from a rugby match when the dad-of-two flew into a rage.

He had started punching the ceiling of the taxi and kicking the seats before throwing himself out the vehicle travelling at 60mph.

Ms Perkins recalls how a few seconds after the building labourer had lost his temper, she felt ‘cold fresh air’ and realised that he wasn’t sat beside her.

An inquest heard that he was hit by passing cars on the M4 and died from multiple injuries.

The pair had gone to watch a Wales v Australia rugby match at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

It was Tony’s first time at the stadium and he was "excited" for the day.

Mr Pemberton, 29, who lived in Pyle, near Bridgend, had enjoyed a meal before the match and later drank lager, vodka and a Jagerbomb with his partner.

After the match the couple decided to get a taxi 26 miles to their local rugby club because the train queue was too long.

Miss Perkins said a £70 fare was agreed – and the taxi driver stopped for Mr Pemberton to get money at a petrol station.

But as they got onto the motorway Mr Pemberton became very angry with the taxi driver.

His girlfriend said: "The taxi driver said that the fare was changing and that he wanted more money. I think he said £80 and then he said £90.

"Tony was kicking the seats behind the driver. He was up and down.

"It was like a red mist. It was just a complete change in him.

"He was just angry. We couldn’t get through to him. I’ve never seen him like that before.

"I was telling him to calm down. To sit down. I told him don’t worry about the extra money. It doesn’t matter.

"I tried to put my hands on his arm. He was hitting the roof with the side of his arm.

"He said he was going to walk, that he was getting out. It was as if he decided he decided he wasn’t paying the taxi driver any more money and that was that."

The inquest in Pontypridd heard Miss Perkins had hold of her partner before he disappeared through the window of the cab.

She said: "I felt fresh air in the cab and there was a lot of noise. I had hold of his arm.

"He was moving around. I seemed to have lost my grip completely of him and he was gone. I couldn’t understand where he had gone."

The inquest heard taxi driver Muhammed Jamil pulled over into the hard shoulder of the M4.

Giving evidence Mr Jamil said a £75 fare had been agreed but Mr Pemberton had only paid £70.

The taxi driver said he decided to take the couple without getting the further £5.

He said: "I never asked him for more money. Never on the way. Not at any time."

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Witnesses described the moment they hit an object on the motorway before dozens of cars pulled over.

Driver Michael Smith said conditions were "drizzly and dark" before he hit an object in the road.

He said: "We thought it was a bit of wood at the start. Our heads hit the top of the van. Pretty much everyone was going over it."

The inquest heard Mr Smith pulled over and was approached by Miss Perkins who said: "Have you seen my boyfriend he’s just jumped out of the taxi?"

The inquest heard Mr Pemberton died from multiple injuries on November 11 last year.

Police say the taxi window is likely to have come out in one piece as there was no glass inside the cab.

Assistant coroner David Regan recorded a narrative conclusion.

He said: "The deceased died when he fell from a taxi onto the M4 motorway in circumstances where his intentions were unclear."

After his death, his family said: "Tony was well loved by all of his family and friends. He was the father to two young girls whom he loved dearly.

"He was always the joker, high on life and there was never a dull moment when you were in his company. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends."

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