Mother is struck and killed on her first night out since birth of her baby after 'being kicked out of an Uber'

Friday, March 15, 2024
 – A new mom who went out for the first time to celebrate since the birth of her baby daughter was struck and killed after allegedly being kicked out of an Uber on a busy highway in the US.

Vanessa Schwartz, 35, was on her way home from an evening with her husband Michael, a systems engineer, when she was hit while walking along Interstate-495 in Fairfax County, Virginia at 4am on Sunday, March 10.

Unverified Uber receipts showed that she had been dropped off by her Uber at 1am.

Her devastated family have laid the blame on the Uber driver, who has been suspended amid an investigation by Uber but has not been charged, as her brother-in-law said it was a 'preventable situation.'

However, Virginia state police told NBC4 that there is 'no evidence' she was abandoned on the highway, and 'it appears she made her way to the interstate from a secondary roadway.'

Investigation into the young mother's death are still ongoing, with witnesses reportedly telling police she had 'stumbled' into traffic, reports WUSA-9.

The outlet also claimed that a preliminary investigation found the 2005 Honda Accord that struck Schwartz was unable to avoid hitting her.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

It remains unclear why Schwartz was on the highway, as NBC4 obtained unverified Uber receipts from her family that showed her ride came to an end either on the highway, or very close to it.

Although she was fatally struck at 4am, receipts also showed that the Uber lift ended at 1am. The three-hour time gap is not explained.

Although cops say she may not have been left on the highway, Schwartz' grief-stricken family have accused the Uber driver of causing the tragedy.

The driver, who has not been criminally charged, was said to have kicked the couple out of his car and onto the highway, despite it being 'dark and raining.'

Chad Schwartz, the victim's brother-in-law, said: 'This was a preventable situation... that's why this is so devastating. It didn't have to happen.'

'We're not exactly sure what happened, but they were kicked out of the Uber in the middle of the highway, when it was raining and dark,' he added.

Uber told DailyMail in a statement: 'Our hearts break for Vanessa’s family and loved ones during this difficult time. We take the safety of riders seriously and are continuing to look into this incident. We have reached out to law enforcement to offer our support with their investigation.'

The company reportedly suspended the driver and removed his access to their app while the investigation continues.

Cops said in an update on Wednesday, three days after the death, that 'at this time, there is no evidence to indicate she was dropped off or left along I-495.

'Instead, it appears she made her way to the interstate from a secondary roadway.' 

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