Canada

Taxi driver dove from cab moments before Aaron Driver detonated bomb

Taxi driver Terry Duffield escaped with his life Wednesday by diving out of the cab moments before his passenger, ISIS sympathizer Aaron Driver, detonated a bomb.

Leo's Taxi spokesman said ISIS supporter was a regular customer, seemed like 'a friendly guy'

RCMP confronted Aaron Driver as he fled in a waiting taxi, where an improvised explosive device suddenly detonated, injuring driver Terry Duffield. (RCMP)

Taxi driver Terry Duffield escaped with his life Wednesday by diving out of the cab moments before his passenger, ISIS sympathizer Aaron Driver, detonated a bomb. 

"I was in the cab when it happened," Duffield told CBC News from the doorway of his Strathroy, Ont., home on Thursday night.  

Duffield  had no obvious visible injuries, though he appeared tired and said his back is sore.

But he's not saying anything about what Driver said to him before the blast, or what happened when police confronted the 24-year-old. Police say Driver was plotting an "imminent" attack in an urban centre. 

"I have nothing, absolutely nothing to say," Duffield told CBC News. "The cops told me to say absolutely nothing to anyone for at least one week."

Police said that around 4:30 p.m. ET, Driver left a residence in Strathroy and got into a cab that he had called. He detonated an explosive device from the back seat, prompting officers to open fire. Driver died in the confrontation, though it's not clear whether the bomb or the bullets killed him.

Pictures released by RCMP on Thursday show the front of the cab where Duffield had been sitting was badly scarred by the blast. 

The aftermath of an explosion in the back of taxi where Aaron Driver detonated an explosive device, prompting police to open fire. (RCMP/Canadian Press)

Brandon Carreiro, whose family runs Leo's Taxi service in Strathroy, said Duffield — who has worked for the company for about three years — was "lucky he got out when he did."

"From what he told us ... the guy came in the car, and from there everything just unfolded," he said. 

A regular customer 

He said Driver, who worked at a local machine shop, was a frequent customer of Leo's Taxi.

"We used to take the guy to work every day," Carreiro said. 

Carreiro said there was no hint of a problem with Driver, who he called "a friendly guy." He said the company had no reason to believe Wednesday's call would be different than any other. 

Duffield, meanwhile, is "really stressed out," but doing better than he was Wednesday, Carreiro said.

The company's other drivers are also rattled, he said, adding that Leo's Taxi will offer Duffield whatever support he needs to recover.

"Our company is like a family," he said. 

About the Author

Multi-award-winning journalist Diana Swain is the senior investigative correspondent for CBC News and host of The Investigators on CBC News Network.