Northeast Ohioans taking precautions after murder of SC student who mistook killer for Uber driver

Dyngus Day revelers double checking before getting into Uber or Lyft cars

Northeast Ohioans taking precautions after murder of SC student who mistook killer for Uber driver

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - As Dyngus Day comes to a close, a lot of people are using ride share services to get home.

But, as the nation tragically learned a few weeks ago, it’s important to make sure you know who you’re getting in the car with.

Monday, 19 News talked to Eric Tuokkola and his friends before they got in a stranger’s car.

They had just come from the Dyngus Day celebration.

Eric was meticulously looking for a match to the description of his ride on his app.

“They give you the picture of the person. They give you the license plate number, just look at the first and the last digit. That’s always the easiest,” he said.

Now, ride share companies are reiterating how important those verification steps are.

At the beginning of this month, police say a South Carolina college student was murdered by a man she mistook for her Uber driver.

“It’s awful,” Eric said. “Just terrible, mean so opportunistic.”

We also talked to Eric’s driver when she arrived. She emphasized that the step is so important on both ends.

“I also double check with my riders that I’m picking up the right stranger,” she said. “Everyone needs to check!”

Uber says it’s added extra notifications that pop up while waiting for a car.

It reminds people to do those verification steps.

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