California woman says she escaped Lyft driver who was taking her in opposite direction

OAKLAND, California -- A California woman says she escaped from a Lyft driver who was taking her in opposite direction from her home.

"It became a fight or flight situation," Brittney Sundquist said. "I was no longer in control, and it was a situation that I needed to quickly escape from."

The 27-year-old East Bay artist says she ordered a Lyft from a bar in Oakland at 2:04 a.m. Friday, and the Lyft app said she should have arrived at her home in East Oakland 14 minutes later.

"But for whatever reason, the driver veered off of the destination that he was given, which was my home," she said. "(He) was driving me deeper and deeper into an isolated and desolate area of the Oakland hills that I'm unfamiliar with."

Sundquist said she doesn't remember the details of her escape or any interactions with the Lyft driver, but she said she escaped from his car and ran through a wooded area of the Oakland Hills. Unsure of where she was, Sundquist ordered another Lyft at 2:38 a.m.

"I feel like you don't know how you're going to react in these types of situations until they happen to you," she said.

Sundquist filed a report with the Oakland Police Department and has been in touch with Lyft. She said the rideshare company has been very helpful since the incident and that she plans on riding with Lyft in the future.

The ride share company sent ABC7 a statement, which says, "What is being described is horrific. We have reached out to the passenger to extend our full support and the driver has been permanently banned from the Lyft platform. We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation."

"I've heard of other incidents like this," said Amanda Wood, who is Sundquist's roommate and also happens to be a Lyft driver. "As a female driver, there's been times I've started to question, am I safe, am I comfortable with this passenger?"

In an effort to improve ride share safety, Wood and Sundquist started a petition asking Lyft and Uber to give passengers the option of requesting a female driver.

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