SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA.com) — Two San Fernando Valley women are suing a Lyft driver and the company for sending a driver to pick them up who they allege was drunk and could have killed them in a crash.
“I thought I was going to die, I thought I was going to die in that car,” said Teri Cortines.
Teri and Lisa Hite spoke to CBS2’s Erica Nochlin Thursday evening about their ride on a Sunday morning in September.
They said they called Lyft because they wanted to have a couple of drinks while watching football and not drive.
Police later arrested their Lyft driver for being under the influence.
The women said he made an illegal and dangerous left turn, through oncoming traffic, and caused a severe crash.
“I was screaming oh my God, oh my God,” said Cortines.
“I kind of felt us turning left and next thing I know I was flipping,” said Hite.
The women ever incredulous that their driving might have been drinking.
“You can’t believe at 10 o’clock in the morning that a Lyft driver is going to be picking you up drunk,” said Cortines.
“It was shocking to say the least,” she said.
Post crash, they both went to the hospital for treatment of bruises, cuts and soreness.
Hite says she even suffered a heart attack immediately following the crash.
The women are working with an attorney and have filed a lawsuit against the driver and Lyft.
“What should they be doing? More regular checks, more DMV checks, they should probably implement a driver training course,” says attorney Paul N. Philips.
Lyft send Nochlin the following statement regarding the lawsuit.
“Safety is our top priority and we were saddened to hear about this incident. We have a strict zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy for Lyft drivers and any behavior threatening the safety of a Lyft community member is not tolerated. The driver has been permanently banned from using Lyft,” they wrote.
Hite told Nochlin she will never be comfortable taking another ride-share. And there is irony in this. She drives for Uber.
“I’m very comfortable driving,” she says.
The accident, she says, caused her alarm for all ride-share companies.
“I applied and did the application and gave them all my information and I was approved within 24 hours. I’m not sure that’s adequate to actually check my background,” she told Nochlin.
Both women say they will never be the same.
“It was just, such a traumatic event, and it’s not just what happened that day, it’s what’s still happening. I’’s the pain I’m still in every day,” Cortines said.