Cab driver thrown in trunk still hospitalized months later

Mulugeta Shiferaw pictured with wife
Mulugeta Shiferaw pictured with wife
The couple's daughter, Niyanna Mulugetta
The couple's daughter, Niyanna Mulugetta
Charles Black in court
Charles Black in court

HARTWELL, OH (FOX19) - A taxi driver thrown in the trunk of his cab in September and driven around Cincinnati has still not recovered. In the meantime, his wife has given birth to the little girl she was pregnant with when the police chase occurred.

Police say Charles Black drove Mulugeta Shiferaw around in the trunk of his cab for eight hours in the heat, leading police on a lengthy chase. When the car crashed, the driver was pulled from the trunk dehydrated and disoriented.

Six months later the taxi driver is still being monitored at Drake. His daughter was born in February.

"She's beautiful," family friend Ayana Basha said of the man's little girl.

Niyanna Mulugetta was born five months after her father's life changed forever.

"To me it's like yesterday," Ayana Basha said.

Basha, a taxi cab company owner, was the one that first alerted police that his coworker Mulugeta Shiferaw was missing.

"He was a hard work guy and he is one of the best drivers that I had," Basha said.

He says he goes to visit Mulugeta every few weeks at Drake and says he is still is not moving or speaking.

"It's very difficult to be there to see him laying down in that bed and unconscious and just helpless," Basha said. It's very sad."

Since the chase Basha has been working to install GPS devices in all of his drivers' cars.

"Because of Mulugeta we do all this," he said, showing FOX19 the tracking equipment. "I don't want to lose another driver like him."

Basha says despite his current state, Mulugeta's family and friends are still holding out hope.

"Nobody's giving up on him," he said. "We believe in a miracle so God will heal him one day."

Basha says Mulugeta's sister just got a visa to come and see her brother, and she will be in Cincinnati next weekend.

According to court records, the jury trial for Charles Black will begin on April 8th.

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