British taxi driver dies from COVID-19 after unruly passenger allegedly spat on him

Henry Austin and David K. Li

A British taxi driver, who died from COVID-19 complications, might have been fatally infected by an unruly passenger who spat on him, the man's family said.

Trevor Belle, 61, died last month at Royal London Hospital, weeks after an ugly confrontation with a fare dodger, his friends and family told the Press Association.

The East Londoner was spat on by a passenger who allegedly skipped out on a £9 fare after being dropped off on West Ham Lane.

"A few days later he got rushed into hospital, he spent three weeks battling it and unfortunately didn't make it to the end," friend Damian Briggs told the British wire service.

Belle's family told The Guardian newspaper that the attacker yelled at him: “I’ve got the coronavirus — and now you’ve got it, too.”

Belle was a new grandfather and he died three days after turning 61.

The London Metropolitan Police, in a statement to NBC News on Friday, said it's aware of the case and is trying to follow up with Belle's family.

“We continue to look for any police record or report that relates to this incident," police said. “Officers will be making attempts to contact his family to explore whether they wish to make a criminal allegation."