Potholes may have caused a road rage shooting on Sunday night on Interstate 80/94, near Gary, Indiana. This is the second road rage shooting on the same highway in the last week. Indiana Police Department spokesperson stated several shots were fired at a woman from Lansing, Illinois.
The 33-year-old woman was not injured during the Sunday night shooting, while the victim traveled through Gary. Investigators discovered a bullet had struck her vehicle’s back bumper and was later found in the trunk, according to Sgt. Ann Wojas.
The victim reported to police she had been driving slowly along the Gary road due to the numerous potholes in the highway by the 25th street on-ramp when a car began driving very closely to her car’s rear, according to a statement released by the Indiana State Police.
The woman, 33, applied her brakes to encourage the tailgating car to slow down and give her some more room. She stated the two vehicles merged onto the westbound lanes of the I-80/94.
Once on the interstate the other car ultimately pulled up beside her on the road while another occupant in the vehicle pulled out a handgun, pointed it at her, fired several shots and then the vehicle sped off, according to police.
The car was hit in the rear bumper, however the woman was not hurt. According to investigators, the bullet lodged in the trunk of the Chrysler 300 was one of four to five shots discharged at the vehicle. Police suspect the potholes, which slowed down the woman and enraged the shooter, caused the road rage.
The suspect has been described as a black man with long dreadlocks and wearing a dark-colored hat. He was driving a burgundy, four-door vehicle with heavily tinted windows.
This was the second shooting on the same interstate in the past week. Four days ago, by Lake Station, another driver was a victim of road rage. An enraged driver shot at a man through the rear window of his truck, striking the driver in the back. Police have found no evidence linking the two incidents.
The Valparaiso man, 48, had been returning home from work around 4 p.m. He merged in front of another vehicle and entered the eastbound lanes of the I-80/94 at Cline Ave., police reported. The vehicle was described as a 1999 Dodge Ram.
Statistics state the majority of us have experienced some form of aggressive driving, either as the aggressor or the victim, at some point.
Road rage and aggressive driving are on the rise and has become a top concern for many drivers, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA). AAA stated over 1,500 people are seriously hurt or killed in aggressive traffic confrontations.
Aggressive driving was a term coined in the early 1990s as a phrase to describe dangerous driving behaviors. These behaviors include: speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights and stop signs. Aggressive driving can escalate to rude gestures of anger or shouting at another driver, confrontations, bodily harm and murder. Road rage is the phrase that has emerged to label the violent behaviors at the far end of the aggressive driver continuum.
AAA suggests the following reasons for the increase in road rage: traffic congestion, running late, anonymity, disregard for others and/or the law and habitual and clinical behaviors. As these conditions continue to exist, road rage over potholes may cause additional shootings.
By Deborah Baran