TAMPA, Fla. — Tammy Lenze can’t drive to her medical treatments due to her disability. She relies on medical transport services covered by her health insurer to get to and from weekly appointments.
What should have been another routine ride to the doctor on Dec. 28 turned into a harrowing experience. Lenze said the medical transport driver lost his temper after she got 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 started speeding and driving erratically.
An app on Lenze’s phone clocked the sedan doing 92 miles an hour in a 50-mile-an-hour zone, then hitting nearly 100 miles an hour on Interstate-4. Lenze said she knew she was in trouble and considered jumping out of the car at one point.
She asked the driver to slow down but said that seemed to enrage him. Lenze’s friend, who was in the back seat with her, called 911 for help.
The 911 call captured the driver yelling at the women as they were getting out of the car after it stopped at a shopping center.
Police and paramedics arrived and sent her to the emergency room after checking her blood pressure. Lenze made a call for action after she said Safe Choice Transport ignored her complaints.
The story took a turn after Scripps News Tampa confirmed the man behind the wheel is a convicted felon.
He served time in prison for separate convictions on fraud and felony battery charges. And he racked up more than a dozen driving violations in Polk, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
Scripps News Tampa emailed and called Safe Choice Transport's Tampa office, but they did not respond.
Modivcare, the company that contracted with Safe Choice Transport for Lenze’s rides, confirmed that the driver is no longer employed by the transport company.
Lenze said she is happy to hear something is being done so that no one else goes through what she did.
“We should have medical care as a right," she said. "We shouldn't have to worry about how we are going to get there safely.”
This story was originally reported by Jackie Callaway for Scripps News Tampa.