Passenger dies after setting taxi car on fire

Jacqueline Renee Savoy 
By: Debbie Gross 

(Scroll down for video) A passenger in a taxi demanded money from the driver, and when he did not get any money, he set the car on fire which killed him. The driver escaped, but suffered injuries.

The passenger has been identified as 30-year-old Jacqueline Renee Savoy from Lothian, Maryland.

In a small section on Northview Drive in Bowie, blackened and charred car parts are scattered everywhere. The road is slightly warped, with orange marks everywhere. The remains of a failed taxi robbery attempt that ended in flames are still there.

"I thought he was a thief, immediately, I thought I have the situation under control," said the 63-year-old driver of the taxi, who spoke to the news media on condition that his name not be used.

Bowie Police say around 4:50 Friday afternoon, a detective saw the car on fire. The driver, a veteran of seven years of the taxi business, told officers he had picked a man from Largo Metro station and took him to the 4200 block of Northview Drive.

Before he set the car on fire, he said, there were warning signs. "He was drinking spirit," said the driver. "Alcohol".

The victim said that Savoy, drank and smoked in the back seat, and then got infuriated when the fee was $34.

The driver explained that the passenger then grabbed him from behind in a headlock, yelling, "Give me your money,” and then put the car on fire deliberately after spraying the back seat area with alcohol.

"He is starting pouring the spirit, and lit the liquor," recalled the driver.

"Maybe it was a lighter or matches," said Isidora Asuquo, an independent taxi driver colleague, and friend.

The driver with his hair on fire escaped from the vehicle, but Savoy did not.

An officer told the driver that the rubber seals on the doors of the car had melted, possibly trapping the aspiring thief inside.

Witnesses came to the aid of the driver, helping to put out the flames on his head. Firefighters found the dead thief inside the passenger part of the car. His body was burned beyond recognition.

"I guess he was drunk and could not make his exit as the driver did," said Asuquo.

The driver credits a glass divider bought after a previous robbery for saving his life, not only from the second robbery, but from the smoke and flames that began to fill the back of the car.

"I opened the door and collapsed on the road," he recalled.



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