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    Family seeks justice for ride-hailing driver shot, killed in Austin

    After spending Christmas Day with her family, Adriana Arocha-Duque decided to launch her ride-hailing app and work as a driver for a few hours.

    She was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

    A witness told police they heard gunshots, and video footage from neighbors showed four people fleeing from Arocha-Duque’s vehicle, according to police, who added that the incident appeared to have been a robbery.

    “She was a hard worker, she had a strong personality and could be stubborn at times,” said Jose, who asked to be identified only by his first name for safety concerns.

    Jose said Arocha-Duque drove for Lyft. In a statement, a spokesperson for the company said they have attempted to reach out to the family. Jose said they have yet to connect with Lyft.

    Arocha-Duque lived in Belmont-Cragin, and though she didn’t have children she treated her dog, Hunter, as if he were her own flesh and blood, Jose said.

    “We tried to call her. Her dog was locked in her home. We didn’t have keys; we tried to get in through the window,” Jose said. “Police told us what had happened a few hours later.”

    Arocha-Duque arrived in the United States in 2017 seeking asylum, according to Jose. She had been living in Chicago for about three years.

    “Our hearts go out to this rideshare driver, because we know it could have been any one of us. Violence against drivers and delivery workers is on the rise, and it’s terrifying — which is why rideshare drivers in Chicago and across the country are organizing for change,” Justice for App Workers Midwest wrote in a statement. “We deserve to be safe at work.”

    Another driver was killed on the job this month in Austin.

    Al Hejoj, 39, a longtime ride-hail driver, was killed.

    Last month, Tramon Thomas, 31, was killed and his brother, Terrance Thomas Jr., 32, wounded in a shooting in Humboldt Park as they were delivering food for Uber Eats.


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