Lyft Driver Tells His Side Of The Story After Going Viral Over A Passenger Misunderstanding An Act Of Kindness

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Lyft Driver Tells His Side Of The Story After Going Viral Over A Passenger Misunderstanding An Act Of Kindness
Photo Credit: Petri Oeschger | Getty Images

PUBLISHED: Dec 17, 2019 7:49 AM

In a viral Facebook post, a woman claims that she had a frightful experience during a recent Lyft ride. The story gained momentum online and now the driver involved in the incident is coming forward to share his side of the story, saying this was all just a misunderstanding. 

William Thomas has been driving for Lyft for three years as a post-retirement gig. “East side, west side, north side, south side, I’m everywhere. I love it, man,” he tells Fox 2 Detroit

Prior to driving for Lyft, Thomas was a cross country bus driver and civil rights activist hailing from Selma, Alabama. His daily motto is, “When I can help one person my day is not in vain.”

Unfortunately, it’s his kind persona that resulted in a Facebook by a woman scared for her life. 

Friday morning, Thomas picked up a female passenger from Amazon in Romulus, Michigan during his Lyft shift. When she got into the car, Thomas recalls, “I said how you doing because I ask that to everyone. She said, ‘I’m sick.’”

Thomas was also recovering from a cold and offered her some peppermint oil. After his wife had a brain aneurysm three years ago, they became big fans of essential oils. He shares, “I put it on [a tissue] and I said, ‘All you got to do is [sniff] and pass it over your nose and it will help you breathe.”

This made the passenger extremely nervous so she, unbeknownst to Thomas, took a photo of the oil on the tissue and created a warning post on social media. She also posted his license plate number and photo, urging riders to “be careful” and decline to ride with him.

Photo courtesy of Fox 2 Detroit

“All three of my sisters called me crying carrying on, ‘Your picture is all over Facebook.’ I said for what? What did I do?”

Since then, the post has been circulating to groups with more than 100,000 followers. 

Photo courtesy of Fox 2 Detroit

“I’ve been dealing with the public for a long time, this is the worst I ever had in my life,” says Thomas in regards to being publicly shamed.

Thomas is now worried all of the post’s circulation will affect his job. He went to the Woodhaven Police Department in Michigan to inquire about having the post taken down or to stop it’s spreading but there was nothing the department could do. 

“I can’t believe you try to help people and they stab you in the back like this,” says Thomas. 

Fox 2 Detroit has reached out to the passenger but has not heard back from her.