Two MetroLift passengers were killed in Harris County just over a week ago when their taxi driver hit a stalled tanker truck.
Disabled individuals who need transportation for outpatient medical treatment, but are unable to use the local bus, work with MetroLift to get to and from their appointments. The MetroLift transit system works with a number of local taxi services, including Yellow Cab/Texas Taxis.
On Friday, July 15, two MetroLift patients — an 84-year-old woman and a 56-year-old woman — had just received kidney dialysis and were on their way home in a specially-equipped Texas Taxis van. According to the Houston Police Department, the van was seen swerving through evening rush hour traffic on the Eastex Freeway. It was travelling northbound on U.S. 59 when it swerved onto the shoulder and rear-ended a fuel tanker that had pulled over with a flat tire, near Laura Koppe Road.
The dialysis patient riding in the backseat died immediately in the fatal auto accident. The other female passenger, who had been riding in the front seat, was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital where she later died from her injuries. The tax driver was also taken to the hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.
The tax driver has been charged with criminally negligent homicide and is being held in the Harris County Jail.
It is unknown whether the families of the women will pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against MetroLift transit.
Related resource: KHOU.com, “Taxi driver contracted by Metro Lift charged in crash that kills 2 passengers,” 7/15/11.