A suspected road rage incident in Houston--one that proved fatal--points out the unknown danger that prevails on the highway.
In this case, the police are looking for a dark-colored pickup truck. The occupants allegedly shot the owner of a car repair and sales business, according to The Houston Chronicle. Before his own truck struck a SUV and careened into an apartment house, the victim managed to phone his business partner of 25 years to say that he feared “something bad was going to happen.” The news report suggested the episode began when the deceased honked his horn after being cut off by the unidentified truck.
The victim called 911 in the course of the chase, and police were on the scene when the partner arrived in a vain attempt to assist his friend.
Witnesses reported hearing six to eight shots fired, at least one of which struck the victim in the head, who was pronounced dead at a Houston hospital.
This account is tragic, and its ramifications go beyond the victim, his family and immediate friends. The Chronicle points out that the victim was sensitive to life’s ups and downs and would repair customer’s cars when they couldn’t afford to pay.
The incident also demonstrates how an escalation of events can transpire when a justified and innocent reaction to highway bullying spirals out of control.
It also demonstrates how the proliferation of guns makes every road rage incident potentially deadly. In this case the use of a gun cut down on the time the victim had to reach safety in spite of his calls for help.
Avoiding road rage
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in its advisory “Road Rage, How to Avoid Aggressive Driving” is very clear about handling these types of drivers. It instructs drivers to follow these steps to avoid becoming a victim:
--Do not to engage the bully. "Protect yourself against aggressive drivers by refusing to become angry at them.”
--Steer clear of these drivers and to give them plenty of room and to remove themselves from the scene as quickly as possible.
--Try to keep the encounter as impersonal as possible by not making eye contact with the aggressor.
--Try to get help by using a cell phone and driving to a spot where there are other people around.