Uber Driver Killed in Illinois

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How much customer service does it take to stop a homicidal passenger?

A 16 year old is facing charges of killing her Uber driver after attacking him with a knife and machete. She had just stolen the weapons from Walmart before Nelson, the driver, picked her up. Within a few minutes into the ride, Wasni, the teen, began to stab Nelson. Police were able to use Uber on Nelson’s phone to see that “Eliza” (Wasni) was his most recent customer.

Wasni had taken two other Uber rides that same evening, one of which had taken her to the Walmart. Uber’s Terms and Conditions states that customers have to be at least 18 to use their platform. Judge Michael Hood said the crime was “extremely violent.”

The teen is being tried as an adult with first-degree murder and is being held without bail.

Nelson’s siblings remember him as a kind, gentle person who was trying to do the best he could in life. An Uber spokeswoman stated that the company is heartbroken at the loss of Nelson. She also mentions that a rider’s access can be removed if it is found that the rider is underage, and that there is a mechanism to report that. Additionally, she says that Uber has safety tips for both drivers and riders that were developed with the aid of law enforcement.

Unfortunately, these methods were not enough to save Grant Nelson. They also weren’t enough to save Mike Mecklenburg, Mario Johnis Medina-Chevez, and Modou Diagne, all killed while on the job. Drivers receive no training on how to handle these types of situations, but are told to keep water bottles and mints to keep their passengers happy. How much customer service does it take to stop a homicidal passenger?

While it is unclear in these situations if safety training and conflict resolution & avoidance would have made a difference, drivers should still have the resources available to learn how to handle a situation that has gone wrong. Knowing what to do in a moment of stress and chaos can save valuable time, and perhaps even your life. H&RS has developed a 5 Star Rideshare Driver Training™ that encompasses personal safety, conflict resolution, disability awareness and wheelchair accessibility, emergency protocols, and defensive driving. Click here to learn more.

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