Cabbie Doesn't Remember Nightclub Crash

According to San Diego police investigators, there is no evidence that Daly broke any serious criminal laws

By R. Stickney, Paul Krueger and Michelle Wayland
|  Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011  |  Updated 10:11 PM PDT
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New Video Shows Aftermath of Cab into Gaslamp Nightclub

San Diego Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Sam Hassan Daly (legal name). He's been licensed as a taxi driver since 12/1/03. He currently has an active license to drive for Emerald Cab. Term of license is 4-26-10 to 4-26-11.

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Cabbie Doesn't Remember Nightclub Crash

Home from the hospital, Sam Daly said he figures he blacked out according to his roommate.

New Evidence Revealed in Nightclub Crash

First responder interviews show cabbie had fallen asleep, per victims' attorney.
More Photos and Videos

The cab driver whose vehicle jumped a curb and crushed a crowd of people exiting a nightclub Saturday morning doesn't remember anything before being pulled from the taxi, according to his roommate.

Sam Hassan Daly, 52, returned to his Linda Vista home Tuesday night, four days after the accident that injured more than 30 people outside Stingaree at 6th and Island.

Daly, pictured above in an image taken from his cab license, was relieved to hear that one of the most seriously injured of the victims, Dominique Gambale, is responding well to treatment, according to the man who rents a room in the home.

"He felt really bad about what had happened with the accident," said roommate Dan Rose.

When Rose saw Daly, he immediately noticed the bandages on his nose and his black eyes.

He "seems pretty out of it still and probably experiencing a lot of emotions over this accident I would imagine," said Rose. 

According to his roommate, Daly didn't have any hard answers as to what caused the cab to lose control.

"He doesn't remember anything before being pulled out of the cab," said Rose. "He just figures he blacked out."

The attorney for six of the victims in Saturday's crash said he has collected clear evidence that Daly had fallen asleep before the crash.

San Diego attorney Ashkan King Aminpour said his private investigator spoke with first responders who were the first to see Daly in the moments after the accident.

"He seemed to be in a state of surprise. His eyes were a little bit glassy, as if he fell asleep at the wheel. As if he was extremely fatigued," said attorney Aminpour.

Daly is an Egyptian immigrant who worked as a doctor in his native country before taking a job driving a cab in San Diego.

Court documents indicate Daly has lived in San Diego for at least seven years and that his given name is "Ossama Hassan El-Darandaly." He changed his name to Sam Hassan Daly sometime since 2005.

Rose, told us Daly has been having financial and personal problems.

"Just very irregular behavior, kind of up and down, a little bit recluse, depressed type of behavior," said Rose.

The cab driver owns the house in Linda Vista but told his roommate the bank is foreclosing on the property. Documents obtained by NBC San Diego reveal Daly filed for bankruptcy four years ago.

Rose said Daly sent what money he could back to his family in Egypt.

“He didn't make a lot of money and what he did make, he'd send back to his family in Egypt, his brothers and sisters," said Rose.

Daly has five traffic violations and was charged with misdemeanor battery. Prosecutors later dismissed that case.

According to San Diego police investigators, there is no evidence that Daly had been drinking, or broke any serious traffic laws.

"It was not a high speed collision at all. By high speed I'm talking 50, 40 miles an hour. It was not that. But again, the detectives are reconstructing the accident,” said SDPD Lt. Rick O'Hanlon.

Daly has not been arrested. His friend said Daly is very conscientious about his work and very responsible.

"You know mostly he do everything for himself. A family man who want to help his family, who work hard and have a lot of family to support,” said cab driver George Abraham.

Records show the cab is registered to Makmar Enterprises, which is managed by Fata Arghand who runs several taxi-related businesses from an office on Kurtz Street, near the Sports Arena.

Arghand leased the cab to Daly.

Taxi-drivers are licensed by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, and the industry is regulated by the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS.)

MTS told NBC San Diego there are no violations or complaints on record against either the taxi owner or the driver.

Police say their investigation could take weeks because there are so many witnesses to interview.

Related stories and video:
New Evidence Revealed in Nightclub crash
Cab Crash Victim Was Celebrating Valentine's Day
Stingaree Owner Defends Bouncers' Actions
Clip Captures Chaos After Cab Drives Into Club Crowd
Witnesses Recount Horrific Nightclub Scene

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