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'She Was Helpless': Taxi Driver Describes Ebola Patient's Fateful Ride

A Liberian taxi driver told NBC News about the U.S. Ebola patient's taxi ride with a pregnant victim.

The path of Ebola to the United States may have started in the back of Jiminez Grugbaye’s taxi. Thomas Eric Duncan, the only patient diagnosed in the U.S., helped load pregnant 19-year-old Nathaline Williams to and from Grugbaye’s taxi in an effort to get her treatment on Sept. 15, he told NBC News. She was turned away from three hospitals and a clinic.

Grugbaye said Williams was bleeding from her mouth, but he was told she bit her tongue and was having a miscarriage, and was reassured that she did not have Ebola. “She was helpless. She, she was not able to walk by herself,” he said. Williams’ family and the others caring for her assisted her. He believes Duncan sat in front with him when they left but was in the back on return with the pregnant patient, named in some reports as Marthalene.

Duncan helped carry Williams across a footbridge when they got home. She died hours later, and in the following days her brother died and today both parents are hospitalized with suspected Ebola. Liberian authorities now plan to prosecute Duncan, saying he lied on his airport health questionnaire when he said he had no contact with Ebola patients.


—Nancy Snyderman and Lisa Tolin