HOUSTON — All it took was one Uber ride to ruin over two years of hard work for a native Houston artist.
Country singer, Rich O’Toole is suing Uber after a ride crashed multiple of his biggest-ever career plans. O’Toole filed the lawsuit in Harris County.
Newfix caught up with O’Toole via video chat as he worked on a project in New York City and continues his recovery.
On Feb. 22, the singer was on his way to grab food before heading to a concert he was having in Amarillo. While riding in the Uber, his driver got lost and ended up stopping in the middle of the highway.
Another driver rear-ended the Uber vehicle at high speeds.
“I woke up in the hospital,” O’Toole said.
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Amarillo – I'm Alive! Giant thanks to Dr. Errington for the emergency neck and spine surgery. I'm doing great and will be back on stage in 8- 10 weeks! Thank you for all the love and support. I was in the back of an Uber when I was rear ended by another driver going very fast, I'm very lucky to be alive. God Bless everybody for the prayers and I'm very thankful to have such wonderful Family, Friends, and Fans! God Speed – Rich
Not only did the A&M University alum miss his concert, he underwent emergency surgery. He suffered a broken neck and was very close to being paralyzed for life.
The singer is fighting to recover amid constant pain.
“I walk, I’m slowly getting back into sports and stuff, but it’s a lot of pain,” he said.
To make it all worse, the accident happened as the country singer’s career was set to reach new heights. The following week, the native Texan was going to headline the Houston Rodeo’s World Championship Barbecue Contest.
“That was a dream of mine. That stung the worse,” the artist said.
O’Toole was about to kick off his cross-country tour to promote his new album “American Kid.”
“I spent three years of my life trying to make this record. And the week before it came out I couldn’t promote it. It made No. 5 on Country Music on iTunes, but it didn’t necessarily make to No. 1 like we were expecting. I had to cancel a 60-day radio tour for it,” the singer said.
As if matters could not get any worse, he also missed out on the chance to open for country big names Josh Abbott Band and Willie Nelson.
In response, Uber says drivers are independent contractors. The lawsuits claims this is just the company’s way of avoiding responsibility for misconduct.
For O’Toole, he will never be able to get back the time he lost. “I never put a price tag on it because I would never want to go through it ever again”.
But he says he does not want fans to feel sorry for him, rather be aware of the risks of getting in certain rides.
Keep your eye out for this star because he’s not going anywhere.
“I use it as a comeback story,” he said. “Thank you for the support in my hometown in Houston. God bless y’all, man!”