(WSVN) - A freak accident with a taxi left a Miami woman with mounting medical bills. As 7’s Kevin Ozebek tells us, a year later, she’s still getting hit by “Taxi Trauma.”
Ashley Mincey was an up-and-coming chef.
Ashley Mincey (in “MasterChef” episode): “I’m doing a different spin on a tostón.”
Ashley Mincey, injured by cab: “I was on ‘MasterChef’ and made it to the finale. I represented Miami all the way to the finale.”
But Ashley’s culinary career came to a screeching halt in December of 2019.
Ashley Mincey: “We were walking back from dinner, and my life changed.”
Ashley was strolling through Wynwood with her cousins when a taxi driver lost control.
Ashley Mincey: “I saw the cab. I saw the reverse lights on. He hit the curb, and then he hit people, and I was one of them.”
The cab hit Ashley and her Cousin Javon. They were pinned against a glass storefront.
Javon Mincey, injured by cab: “You could hear people yelling, ‘Hey, hey, hey!'”
Moments later, the cab pulled forward. Ashley collapsed to the sidewalk.
Ashley Mincey: “There was blood everywhere. There was glass, debris inside of my leg.”
Javon Mincey: “She just kept saying, ‘I can’t feel my leg. Is my leg there?'”
The accident report says the taxi driver had stopped the car. He then “shifted gears” and “… went into reverse, causing him to lose control.”
Ashley Mincey: “The impact happened so quickly that parts of my leg separated from my body, and I needed reconstructive surgery on my leg.”
The driver was not charged in the accident. The report says the taxi “malfunctioned,” and witnesses saw him trying to stop the vehicle.
But Ashley and Javon filed a civil suit against him and the cab company, Paloma Transportation LLC.
Paloma Transportation has since dissolved, but a former principal of the company told us in an email that, “This driver did not pay insurance,” and, “This was a practice of some unethical drivers that ‘borrowed’ taxi cabs from friends to make a few extra dollars … We tried our best to stop this from happening. Unfortunately, we could not control it.”
Ashley Mincey: “It’s just been trauma after trauma after trauma.”
Then there was more bad news. Because the driver was uninsured and the taxi company had dissolved, there was no money to be made, so their attorney withdrew from the case.
Ashley Mincey: “I was really devastated, because I’m in a place right now where I should be wholly focused on physical therapy, rehab, recovery.”
Ashley has had four surgeries on her leg and will be in physical therapy for at least another year.
Ashley Mincey: “I’m going to do some leg extensions.”
Since chefs spend long hours walking and standing in the kitchen, she’s nervous about her future, and she’s frustrated someone was driving a cab without insurance.
Ashley Mincey: “You are told that you have to have insurance to even have that car on the road, so I’m really baffled as to how we are here a year later.”
Justin Ziegler, attorney: “I’m not shocked for one second that there is a taxi without insurance.”
Personal injury attorney Justin Ziegler says Ashley and Javon may still be able to seek justice in a court.
Justin Ziegler: “See if she can get a judgment against the person whose car it was, against the medallion holder, go after the wages of these people and go through that route.”
Ashley says they will keep fighting.
Ashley Mincey: “We deserve justice for what happened to me, what happened to my cousin, what happened to my family.”
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