Lyft driver 39-year-old Kristina Howato was dropping off 20-year-old Fabian Durazo at his destination when he began stabbing her. She was able to exit her vehicle, but Durazo followed her and continued to stab her.
She was taken to the hospital where she and her unborn child were pronounced dead.
Durazo fled the scene in her vehicle. Police were able to catch him because Howato’s vehicle was equipped with onboard GPS.
Lyft responded to the incident by issuing the following statement:
We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of this tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims. The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority. The passenger’s account has been permanently deactivated, and we are actively assisting law enforcement with their investigation.
Lyft permanently deactivated the killer’s account? They are not messing around. It’s one thing for Lyft to deactivate his account, but to permanently deactivate it? I’m sure Durazo will spend years on death row reflecting about his permanent Lyft deactivation and wish there was a way he could get them to reinstate his account.
As an Uber and Lyft driver, I often think about the inherent dangers of picking up complete strangers in my car and driving them where they want to go.
Sometimes passengers do not even need to get into your vehicle to evoke a feeling of danger. Uber once sent me to an abandoned house on a dead-end street to pick up a passenger. No one showed up so I eventually canceled. While waiting I could not shake the feeling someone was watching me, trying to decide if I was an easy target to rob. It may sound paranoid, but I could not think of a valid reason someone requested a pick up at such a house.
There are things Uber and Lyft could do to make things safer for drivers. I simply do not believe Lyft when they claim safety is their top priority. Their top priority is maximizing profits. Safety will only be a concern if it affects their ability to maximize profits. This is why I hope Kristina Howato’s family sues Lyft for creating a situation ripe for her and her unborn child’s murder.
Anyone who has driven for Lyft for even two weeks can site the things Lyft should be doing to make things safer. For whatever reason, Lyft has decided not to do those things. Kristina Howato’s family needs to make them pay for that. That is how you create meaningful change in an economic system based on capitalism.
You have to sue the bastards.