A Nashville-based Uber driver survived a terrifying attempted kidnapping last week, according to a report from News Channel 5. The passenger in the back seat allegedly pulled a knife on the driver, 26-year-old Carolina Vargas, but she escaped by jumping out of the vehicle onto the highway.
Vargas first encountered Christopher Miller on Tuesday, May 5, when he ordered a ride and claimed his semi-truck had broken down. Vargas dropped Miller off at a hotel in Cleveland, Tennessee, outside Chattanooga near the Georgia border. As drivers often do to secure extra work, she made plans to pick him up and drive him to his truck in Nashville on Friday. She did just that, but this time, it was without the use of the Uber app.
Once the two were on the road, Miller allegedly pulled a knife, hit Vargas in the ribs, and forced her to drive into Georgia. Fearing for her life, Vargas jumped out of her vehicle onto the highway in order to escape. The Ford Explorer was reportedly going about 60 mph at the time. In addition to injuries sustained from the impact, Vargas’ leg was also run over by the rear tire of the Explorer.
Somehow, Vargas did not break any bones, but she did sustain fairly serious injuries all over her body and is missing some teeth. “I didn’t do anything to trigger him,” Vargas told News Channel 5. “He put the knife here in my side and said, ‘Now you are going to do what I say.'”
Vargas was able to provide police a photo of Miller, as she said she often takes pictures of her trips and passengers. Police were also able to obtain information from the Cleveland hotel. Although Miller fled the scene of the crime, police reportedly tracked his phone’s GPS and located him at a Jacksonville, Florida, hotel, where he had several weapons.
In a statement to News Channel 5, an Uber representative said Vargas was not using the ride-sharing app at the time. Therefore, it was not an Uber trip and was against community guidelines to contact a customer without the use of the app.