A University of South Carolina college student was found brutally murdered, hours after she mistakenly got into a car that she thought was her Uber ride. It’s a stark reminder of steps you should take to get in the correct car when using a ride-sharing service. Samantha Josephson, 21, mistakenly got into a black Chevy Impala, thinking it was her Uber ride. Chilling surveillance video captured her getting right into the back seat; police say the suspect used the child safety locks, so she could not open the doors to get out.
She was found dead hours later in a rural area, about 60 miles away from where she was picked up. Police in South Carolina have arrested a suspect. The incident is a chilling warning to others about making sure the Uber you get in is, in fact, the one you requested. For more than a year and a half, Ron Thornton, of Erie, has been driving for Uber and Lyft, giving hundreds of rides through the ride-sharing apps, “It seems odd because obviously, that’s what we get paid to do is transport strangers in our vehicle, even though we were brought up don’t talk to strangers, don’t get in a car with strangers,” said Thornton.
Like all other Uber and Lyft drivers, Thornton says he had to pass an extensive background check. And he says the ride-sharing companies do take many other steps to help ensure driver and rider safety, “If you look on the app when a rider requests a ride, it shows the driver’s picture, the vehicle, the vehicle’s license plate, and the color of the vehicle, and the make and model,” Thornton said. Before you get into an Uber or Lyft, some basic tips open the door but ask a simple question, Who are you here to pick up?
If you hear them say your name, that confirms this is the car for you. If they don’t know your name, it’s probably not the right car. Also, confirm the make, model, and license plate of the car; again, you can get that information from the services app. And Thornton says that extra checking doesn’t bother him at all; in fact, he recommends it, “Our job is to get you home safe, so if we’re trying to get you home safe, we have no problem with you checking to verify that it’s the right one.