WKU students react to college student murdered while using a popular rideshare app

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-Students at Western Kentucky University are reacting to the news of a South Carolina College Student, who was kidnapped and murdered after getting into a car she mistook for an Uber.

Rideshare apps market themselves as being safe, inexpensive and a better alternative to drinking and driving. Still, across the country, reports of riders being assaulted and even murdered continue to surface.

Some Western students said that while they’re saddened to hear about the University of South Carolina student, they’re not surprised.

“It’s sad that stuff like that happens, and sometimes you wish you had a little more hope in humanity. It does make sense that it happened to a student, because college campuses aren’t exactly safest place to be considering you’re out there being an adult for the first time,” said Alex Cox, a student at WKU.

One of the student’s told WNKY that they’ve accidentally got into the wrong rideshare before.

“There were three Lyfts outside the hotel, all of which were red cars of various size. So, I kept on going from car to car, and it turns out mine was the very last one,” said Sarah Walters, student at WKU.

Uber and Lyft have tried to make using their apps safer by giving riders a detailed description of both the driver and the car.

“It tells you exactly the make and model of the vehicle, it tells you the license plate of the person, it tells you the first name of the person. So, you know exactly what you’re looking for. 9 times out of 10 they have a little light that says Uber or Lyft, so I know what vehicle I’m getting into before I actually get into it,” said Dimond Shelton, student at WKU.

That’s exactly what WKU Police say you should do when using rideshare apps. They also give this advice:

“If you’re going to be riding, and using a rideshare like that to get you back home or whatever, you want to think about maybe having somebody with you that can help you think and protect yourself,” said WKU Police Chief, Mitch Walker.

Most students said they’ll continue using rideshare apps but will take better precautions. Uber is not commenting on the South Carolina incident currently.