SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -In my 30-year broadcast career, most of which were spent in a newsroom, from time to time there’d be a story that would have an unusually profound impact on me. Such is the case of Samantha Josephson’s story.
You’ll recall Josephson as the University of South Carolina student who made what turned out to be a deadly mistake by getting into a car that she thought was an Uber a couple of weeks ago.
Instead of getting into the car she ordered via the popular ride app, she climbed into a Chevy Impala that had a driver who laid in wait hoping someone would take his bait. More than a day later, she was found dead in a field, stabbed to death.
A horrible story with an even worse ending.
I’m not sure why this particular story touched me in the way it did. Maybe because as a father of a young daughter, I know I too will one day have to let her leave the safety of my protection. Or maybe because anyone of us, who uses Uber or Lyft could have fallen into the grips of such evil. Whatever the case, I can’t stop thinking about Samantha and the pain she must have endured and her family, who still continues to suffer.
Consider this: when I was a kid we were taught at a very young age to never get into cars with strangers. Now we do this with ease and, at times, without regard. But that must change.
I will continue to use Uber, but I will also continue to use good safety rules. Double and triple check that the car you’re getting into, the picture of the driver and the license plate matches those sent on the app.
Never get into the car without the driver calling you by name without prompting. And, whenever possible, travel in groups, and if you’re not, make sure someone knows of your whereabouts.
There’s nothing we can do to change the outcome of Samantha Josephson’s story, but we must do everything in our power to make sure that is the only story like this we ever have to tell.