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By BROOKES MERRITT (external - login to view), SUN MEDIA

It's a paranoid fear many drivers have while rolling down a dark road at night: someone's hiding in the back seat, waiting to pounce.
Instances of car attackers lying in wait are rare, but such fears aren't irrational, a local safety expert said yesterday.
And considering Wednesday's killing of Shernell Pierre, he said it's important to remind people to be cautious in the darkness of night.
The 26-year-old Misericordia nurse was slain within 30 minutes of getting off shift and into her Toyota Corolla at 11 p.m.
"In a dark (parking lot) it's hard to know if someone is inside a car. Have a little flashlight and flash it in the back seat ... it just takes a second," said injury prevention expert Dr. Louis Francescutti.

"If you are in a facility that has security, always ask them to walk you to your vehicle."
Francescutti also advised unlocking only the driver's side door when approaching your car.
"Don't open all the doors at the same time to protect yourself in the event someone is bent over on the other side of the car, lurking."
Police said another person was in Pierre's car and that she was not killed by the fireball that later engulfed it.
The charred car - with Pierre's body behind the wheel - was found just south of 87 Avenue and 170 Street around 11:30 p.m.
A person was seen fleeing the scene and Pierre's purse was found discarded nearby.
Police have not said that they suspect someone was hiding in Pierre's Corolla, but such horrors do happen.
For example, in December, a Toronto woman was sexually assaulted by a teen hiding in her van, and another Ontario woman was jumped by a man hiding in her car in 2003.
In 2000, a Manitoba woman was carjacked by a man hiding in her back seat. And in 1992, a Toronto hooker was choked by an attacker hiding in the back seat of a john's car before she was raped.
A "safewalk" service is provided at the Misericordia where Pierre worked, Caritas spokesman Fran Ross said yesterday.
Ross could not say if Pierre used it or confirm whether the parking lot has video monitoring.
"Like any large facility we use all the standard safety practices. We are fully co-operating with the police investigation," Ross said.
Meanwhile, a close friend of Pierre's said many people are wondering if her killer knew her.
Police have said the homicide was not random and is not gang-related.
"She broke up with her boyfriend about two months ago and seemed very happy," said Darshani, who asked that her last name not be printed