Hatchet Awaiting Evil Rarity
The woman is either drawn into safety by a gas station attendant when she stops to fill up, or she is pursued (and ultimately warned) by a male motorist whom she mistakes for an assailant. In common with all "murdering madmen" legends, the intended victim is female, and both the evil fiend and the rescuer are male.
Sometimes the fiend is discovered to have a knife, a hatchet, or a meat cleaver in his possession; other times there's no mention of a weapon. If he does have a weapon, it will be sharp-edged rather than blunt.
In versions where the woman drives to safety, the pursuer (rescuer) is often said to be a burly truck driver or a tough-looking character. Barring that, he's often said to be black. (Both varieties clearly show white, middle class fears of minorities or of groups believed to be socially inferior, according to Brunvand.)
The pursuer sometimes periodically flashes his lights as he chases the woman's car. It's later revealed that his doing so kept the fiend from attacking the woman while she drove: every time the bad guy rose up in the back seat to assault her, the pursuer would bathe him with his high beams and prevent him from striking.
A hybrid of the "gas station" version crossed with the Lights Out! legend appeared in 1993. In this variation, the man hiding in the back seat confesses that as part of a gang initiation he has to sneak into the cars of two women in order to rape and murder them. The gang initiation theme surfaced again in 1999, with bad guys looking to join a gang lurking at gas stations in hopes of severing a body part off a woman as a trophy (Example 3), and in 2000 with them lurking in the same venue, looking to kidnap a woman for the gang to rape (Example 4).
hatchet awaiting evil rarity