Jacqueline Renee Savoy demands money, sets taxicab on fire, dies, police say
Updated: August 20, 2012 - 12:03 pm
Police say a passenger set a taxicab on fire during a robbery attempt and died in the blaze.
The passenger has been identified as 30-year-old Jacqueline Renee Savoy of Lothian, Md.
Savoy has been in trouble with the law for many years, ABC7 has learned. At the time of her death, she was the subject of five different warrants for a variety of issues, ABC7 reports.
Savoy's mother told ABC7 that her daugher was mentally ill. Her mother also told ABC7 that she hopes the community can understand that Savoy wasn't a bad person and didn't want to hurt the cab driver. She also added that Savoy should have been hospitalized but they kept letting her out
On a small section of Northview Drive in Bowie, blackened and charred car parts are scattered about. The road is slightly buckled; there are orange markings everywhere.
The remains of a failed attempted taxicab robbery that ended in flames.
Bowie Police say around 4:50 Friday afternoon, a detective spotted the cab on fire. The driver, a seven year veteran of the taxi business, told officers he had picked up the passenger from the Largo metro station and brought her to the 4200 Block of Northview Drive.
Before that, he says, there were warning signs—Savoy was drinking and smoking in the back seat, first hedged and then became angered about a $34 fare.
The driver explained the passenger then grabbed him from behind in a headlock, hissing 'Give me your money', and then deliberately set the cab on fire after dousing the back seat area with alcohol.
The driver with his hair in flames escaped the vehicle, but Savoy did not.
One officer told the driver that rubber seals in the car's doors had melted, possibly trapping the would-be robber inside.
Witnesses came to the driver's aid, helping to put out the flames on his head. Firefighters found the passenger inside dead. Her body was burned beyond recognition.
The driver credits a glass divider he brought after an earlier robbery with saving his life, not only from a second robbery, but also from smoke and flames that began filling the cab.
"I kicked the door open and immediately fell down on the road," the cab driver recalled.
On Saturday, other taxi drivers got together to sign a get-well card and discuss safety on the road.
"We're kind of like a family," said Leron Allen. "This is a sad moment when one of us gets hurt or injured. We have to look out for each other."
The driver, whose cab is now a whitened, charred shell, said the flames were 25 feet high.
Now recovering at home, his head shaved, he appeared shaken, but glad to be alive.
He told ABC7 what happened won't stop him from getting behind the wheel of a cab again.
"Now, I'm okay," he said. "God has given me a goodly chance. He gave me a miracle for my life."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.