TAMPA, Florida. Tammy Lenze is unable to travel for treatment due to her disability. She relies on medical transportation services covered by her health insurance to get to and from her weekly appointments.
What should have been another routine trip to the doctor on December 28 turned into a harrowing experience. Lenze said the medical transport driver lost her temper after getting into the back seat of a car sent by Safe Choice Transport.
Minutes into the trip, Lenze told Scripps News Tampa that the man behind the wheel began to speed and drive erratically.
An app on Lenze’s phone showed the sedan hit 92 mph in the 50 mph zone and then hit almost 100 mph on Interstate 4. Lenze said she knew she was in trouble, and in some At that moment I thought about jumping out of the car.
She asked the driver to slow down, but said it seemed to make him angry. Lenze’s friend, who was in the back seat with her, called 911 for help.
A 911 call captured the driver yelling at the women as they exited the car after it had pulled over at the mall.
Police and paramedics arrived and took her to the emergency room after checking her blood pressure. Lenze called for action after saying that Safe Choice Transport had ignored her complaints.
The story took a turn after Scripps News Tampa confirmed the man behind the wheel was a convicted felon.
He served time in prison on separate charges of fraud and grievous battery. And he committed over a dozen driving violations in Polk, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties.
Scripps News Tampa emailed and called the Safe Choice Transport office in Tampa, but they didn’t answer.
Modivcare, the company that contracted Safe Choice Transport for Lenze’s rides, has confirmed that the driver no longer works for the transport company.
Lenze said she was glad to hear that something was being done to make sure no one else went through the same thing as her.
“We should have the right to medical care,” she said. “We don’t have to worry about how we get there safely.”
This story was originally reported by Jackie Callaway for Scripps News Tampa.
texasstandard.news contributed to this report.