Man dies after falling from Capital rickshaw

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A SOLDIER who suffered severe head injuries after falling from a rickshaw in Edinburgh city centre has died.

The 26-year-old succumbed to his injuries at around midday today . The man's name is expected to be released later on this evening.

Police confirmed that the family of the man, a serving soldier, were with him when he died. He is believed to be from the Lothians area.

The MoD said that it was thought he may have been attached to the Royal Logistics Corps in Southampton.

The 26-year-old injured himself after falling out of the pedicab as it was travelling along Edinburgh's Lothian Road in the early hours of Sunday morning, striking the back of his head on the road opposite the city's Sheraton Hotel.

Police said the passenger fell from the cab, but Greg Aitken, owner of Chariot Cabs in Edinburgh, claimed he jumped out in a bid to "get the girls" who were walking alongside the bike.

Mr Aitken spoke out to defend his "experienced" driver, insisting he was not to blame.

He alleged that the passenger was drunk at the time, and that the rickshaw had been going at about 12mph when he jumped.

He said: "I've spoken to the driver and what has happened is the passenger has been travelling in the back of the cab with another man.

"The passenger saw a group of girls and decided to go to get the girls, who were on the pavement. He has leapt from the cab onto the road and landed on his feet. But because the cab was moving he has fallen backwards and hit the back of his head on the ground.

"He was obviously quite drunk at the time."

Mr Aitken said the police were just yards away when the incident happened and called for an ambulance straight away.

Paramedics rushed the man to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with "severe head injuries" at around 2.20am.

He was quickly transferred to the neurology ward at the Western General Hospital, but doctors efforts to save him over the weekend failed.

Mr Aitken would not name the driver of the cab but said he had his full support.

He said: "The incident is nothing to do with the driver's actions. He is an experienced cyclist who actually works in a bike shop and competes in events.

"This is the first incident like this that we've had in six years and we run 20 pedicabs in our company. It's obviously quite an unfortunate incident and we hope he recovers soon."

&#149 Do you know anyone involved with this incident? If so, contact the Edinburgh Evening News on 0131 620 8594