PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — It was the Fourth of July, the fireworks had just ended, and a Palm Beach County woman wanted to make some extra cash before going home. The Lyft driver asked that we not identify her because of safety concerns.
She accepted a ride and then got a text message as she made her way there. It was just after 10 p.m.
“I did get a text message while I was driving but because it’s against the law to answer text messages, I didn’t answer it until I got there,” she told us in an interview.
The Lyft driver arrived at a home near Sixth Avenue just off Sunset Avenue near Lake Worth Beach for the pickup.
Outside, she saw a handful of people taking the luggage out of the house. Her passengers were a man and a woman. The woman took five to 10 minutes before she came out.
“She was rummaging through her stuff saying she couldn’t find things,” the driver said.
She had plenty of time to read the text from Lyft.
“It said we’re going directly to a medical facility, do not make any stops along the way and at that time I reversed Googled,” she said.
The Miramar address matched with a rehab facility. The woman was wearing white scrubs. GPS told her to take Interstate 95 South.
“They proceeded to talk in the back and told me to go toward Wellington and take the Turnpike because they had to make a stop. I told them I was not willing to make a stop,” she said. “They started to make comments that started to make me uncomfortable about why I wouldn’t make the stop.”
She stopped but it was at a gas station, just one exit down the highway, where she dropped the unhappy customers off.
They didn’t go easy.
“I started to call 911. As soon as I got on the phone with dispatch, they backed away from my car, closed my hatch and I sped off away,” she said.
A Lyft spokeswoman called what happened to the driver “frightening” and offered their support to her.
The driver says Lyft should have done better to inform her on who she was driving.
“They’re potentially dangerous, and that is my biggest concern. What if 5 minutes before rehab they decide that they don’t want to go to today? What are they going to do to me to get me to turn around or get me to go somewhere else?” she said.
Lyft also said they are investigating the incident.
The driver said she is done driving with Lyft.