HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - An Uber and Lyft driver in Huntington says he's not taking on any new riders after he says his daughters came in contact with a needle left in the back of his truck.
Andy McKee was one of the first Uber and Lyft drivers when the ride share programs came to Huntington. He says he's had rowdy riders, lots of bad customers and made decent money, but a new problem is hitting closer to home. Now he is quitting the programs for good.
McKee says the nightmare started a few days ago when one of his daughters was poked by something sharp embedded in the back seat of his truck. The next day, his other young daughter was scratched, later finding what she thought was a staple.
Instead, McKee, a former police officer, discovered it was a needle that had broken off in the seat. "Our stomach just dropped so we went to the hospital right away," McKee told WSAZ. "Never once did I think a needle would get lodged in my seat and I would scratch myself on it."
With nearly 25 rides given on a busy day, he says it is nearly impossible to pinpoint who could have left the needle, but because of this situation, his days of driving are over. "I had fun doing this but I've got to think about my safety and my kids. So I am 100% done," said McKee.
He also says this is now a reminder and message to those looking to use these programs in the future and the importance of always staying aware. "For other drivers, they need to be aware that this is reality now. And for other people that take Lyft and Uber, they need to make sure they are watching. But how do you see something so small until it happens?" said McKee.
As scary as the situation is, the good news is doctors say the children should be fine but they are advising they be closely monitored. They say the needle probably had dead bacteria on it, therefore it should not pose any significant risk.