When Waheed Etimad left home to drive for Uber on Saturday nights, his family knew they wouldn't see him until Sunday morning. He usually drove late, taxiing people to and from restaurants and bars. He’d get home a few hours before his kids got up to watch morning cartoons and his wife cooked breakfast.
But this past Sunday, the family got news that Etimad died on the road. Etimad was killed at 2:30 a.m. by a 21-year-old woman who got on Highway 101 in San Francisco going the wrong-way. In a statement, Uber said, "This was a horribly tragic incident and our hearts go out to the victim and his grieving family."
Etimad came to the U.S. from Afghanistan, where he served as a translator with the U.S. Army. The 40-year-old had seven children, and was driving for Uber while he pursued a degree at Diablo Valley College.
His family could not be reached for comment, but Etimad was their sole breadwinner. To come up with funds for his funeral, the family started a GoFundMe campaign, which quickly got attention online. In two days, the fund had jumped to more than $205,000.
Because Uber classifies its workers as contractors, not employees, they are not covered by worker’s compensation, which provides weekly financial support and covers funeral expenses. The company offers private insurance which costs 4 cents a mile.