Cherokee County Road Rage Incident Involves Man Firing into Vehicle of Victims
The national media sometimes provides accounts of road rage where irate motorists use a weapon to threaten other drivers or to ram other drivers when attempting to run them off the road. However, a report this week on WSBRadio.com reveals that road rage is more than a theoretical possibility close to home.
According to Cherokee County police, two young women are lucky to have survived a dangerous road rage encounter. The violent exchange culminated in gunfire after an angry motorist chased the women down with his vehicle. Fortunately, no one was injured, but this incident reveals that road rage by irrational motorists poses a genuine threat when drivers navigate the streets of Atlanta and the surrounding vicinity.
The two women passed another vehicle that was being driven erratically. The motorist being passed was apparently enraged by their decision to pass him so he pursued them in a chase that ended in a Woodstock cul-de-sac. As if this behavior was not frightening enough, the enraged driver than took out a gun and discharged it toward the women from inside his vehicle. It appears that the perpetrator of this act of road rage may have been in a drug-impaired frenzy. The driver that engaged in the violent exchange has been arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault, Discharging a Firearm while Intoxicated, Possession of a Firearm during Commission of a Crime, Possession of a Schedule II Drug, Open Container, Possession of Marijuana and Terroristic Threats.
This incident serves as a reminder to anyone who encounters a driver who appears to be engaged in aggressive driving tactics or operating a vehicle erratically that it is important to proceed very cautiously. There is no way to know why a driver is behaving in such a manner so the best course of action is to stay clear of such drivers. The women victimized in this violent road rage encounter could not have known that this erratic motorist may have been in a drug-induced rage or that he would respond in such a hostile and violent way to the simple act of being passed by another vehicle.
While road rage and aggressive driving are often considered synonymous, the terms actually refer to very different types of conduct. Aggressive driving might be viewed as extremely reckless driving where a motorist engages in multiple moving violations or unsafe driving practices simultaneously. Although the driver’s conduct is dangerous to others on the road, there is no actual intent to cause injury though the driver may be indifferent to the consequences of his or her actions. For example, a driver weaving through traffic at 100 mph while intoxicated may be incredibly reckless but not purposely looking to injure others.
By contrast, road rage involves knowingly and intentionally trying to cause injury or wrongful death to another person while operating a motor vehicle. It may involve discharging a firearm into another vehicle like this incident or using one’s vehicle to ram another vehicle or person. The actions of the motorist in a road rage incident go beyond just extremely unsafe behavior because they are motivated by a genuine intention to cause harm to another person.
Both aggressive driving and road rage pose an unreasonable risk of harm to others on the road and may be the basis for imposing liability for resulting injuries or fatalities. Our experienced Atlanta auto accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to victims of aggressive driving and road rage throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast.
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