SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Three friends are speaking out two months after a nightmare 25-minute Uber ride through Sacramento, Calif., left them fearing for their lives.
"I legitimately believed that we were going to die," Theadora Fuerstenberg said.
It's an app thousands use every day but a June 15 Uber trip on Interstate 80 from a book club in Arden to Oak Park traumatized the three women.
"He would swerve in and out and then as he was doing this he would say, 'We're all going to die now,'" Fuerstenberg said.
Fuerstenberg, Angela O'Neal and Katherine Vallaire said the Uber driver drove erratically and did not follow directions home.
O'Neal was in the back seat and able to get through to 911 dispatchers. That's when the women say he finally got off Highway 99 at 47th Avenue.
"'The doors are open, oh my God,'" Fuerstenberg said. "So we just ran out."
They were met by Sacramento County sheriff's deputies.
In a statement, Uber told KTXL they removed the driver's access to the app:
"The disturbing behavior the riders reported will not be tolerated. We removed this driver's access to the app shortly after we learned of the incident and stand ready to work with police."
It was the next day that Fuerstenberg says things got worse when her neighbor said, "Oh, your friend just left. It was strange, he was staring into your house."
Fuerstenberg says the description matched her Uber driver. She says she eventually was able to get a restraining order against him but the three women want more.
"I just want him to be held accountable," Fuerstenberg said.
The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department says they are investigating this as a kidnapping. The district attorney will determine whether or not charges will be filed and if an arrest will be made.
The friends also want this to serve as a lesson.
"We really want other people to be aware that this is a risky situation and there may not be any accountability," Fuerstenberg said.
The women also used the emergency button through the Uber app to call 911. When used, the function provides the driver's name, make and model of the car and license plate to the rider to speak to the 911 operator.
KTXL has not identified the driver because he has not been charged with a crime. No one answered the door at an address associated with the Uber driver.