Taxi driver's killing highlights dangers of job

3 drivers have been killed in Jacksonville since 2001

By Marques White - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Driving a taxi cab can be a dangerous job.

Three taxi cab drivers have been killed in Jacksonville since 2001. The latest was 43-year-old Gator City Taxi driver Stuart Carson.

The father of four was shot and killed early Saturday morning while sitting inside his cab on West 27th Street in Brentwood.

Police have not released any new information about Carson's killing or what the motive might have been.

Carson's wife, Kelly Redington, said he was robbed before he was shot – the latest in a long list of crimes against taxi drivers.

In January 2006, Gator City driver Denise Manning's body was found in the trunk of a car on the Westside. In November 2001, Gator City driver Donald Duckett's body was found in the middle of 3rd Street at Mt. Herman Street, just west of Interstate 95.

A cab driver was also shot on Jacksonville's Northside in January 2013, and another was beaten in the summer of 2012 in St. Augustine when his cab was stolen and crashed into a pole.

Another cab driver was carjacked in May 2012 in Kingsland, Georgia.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said taxi cab drivers are 60 percent more likely to be killed on the job than any other job, because they often are working alone at night with cash in public, high-crime areas.

A manager at Gator City Taxi said they don't have anything to say about Carson's killing and they're fully cooperating with law enforcement. The city of Jacksonville oversees taxi cab regulations.

"He knew it was hard," Redington said of her husband's career. "Some days were really good. Some days were really bad. He was ready for a new job. But he was just trying to do anything he could so we could have our bills paid and we'd be happy."

A memorial for the father of four continues to grow on West 27th Street as the family seeks answers.

"He always wanted to make us happy," said Carson's daughter, Kayla Carson. "Even if he didn't have enough money, he would still make us happy, and he would go out and work some more."

Anyone who knows anything about Carson's death is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

Carson's family said they're now in the process of trying to pay for funeral expenses. They said he didn't have life insurance.

Click to help Stuart Carson's family with funeral expenses.

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