One Death in Road Rage Accident on Freeway
A Katy Freeway driver has been shot and killed in an apparent road rage incident late Tuesday night. According to the Houston Police department, the driver who was the sole victim of the shooting is identified as 32-year-old Jaime Ceballos-Garcia. The driver was killed by a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. Passengers where were riding in the victim’s car at the time of the incident said that they had left Memorial City Mall and were heading eastbound when a man driving a gray Chevrolet Malibu started driving erratically by speeding up and slamming on his brakes near to the car they were riding in. One of the passengers was worried enough to place a call to 911 with a description of the vehicle along with the license plate number. Witnesses told police the shooting happened as the victim was attempting to exit the freeway at Silber Road. The gunman in the Malibu caught up with the victim’s vehicle, and fired multiple shots. One of the bullets hit and killed the driver, Ceballos-Garcia. One of the passengers, Fabian Delangtes, grabbed the wheel of the victim’s Chevrolet Cruze to prevent a crash and then called 911 again to report the shooting. “I don’t know the guy,” Delangtes, said in a statement. “We were driving, and the guy was following us. He tried to crash our car. He passed us like two or three times, and we got off, and that’s when he fired the shots.” A Houston Police Department spokesperson said that law enforcement was hoping to find the suspect through the vehicle’s license plate number. Unfortunately, cases of road rage are on the rise on our busy motorways. All too often drivers act out their anger and aggression when they get behind the wheel. Almost anything can set them off. They may perceive that they have been cut off, tailgated, or unjustifiably slowed down by another vehicle in front of them. If a driver is angry enough, they can act out these frustrations and become violent, even take their aggression all the way to murder. In a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in more than 10,000 reported incidents of violent aggressive driving that were committed between the years 1990 and 1996 at least 218 people were killed and another 12,610 injured. Statistically, in most of the incidents, the aggressors were males between the ages of 18 and 26. However, anyone of any age and gender can potentially become aggressive behind the wheel. The key to fighting such a thing is to never let anger become more important than safe driving habits. Often the single thing that pushes a person to road rage ends up being trivial. There are ways to avoid becoming the victim of road rage yourself. The key is to be aware and alert and always keep the reaching of your destination safely foremost in your mind. Don’t Cut Another Driver Off When you are merging into traffic; make sure that you have plenty of room. Most drivers are courteous and will let you in if you signal your intent before going for that opening, or try to wedge yourself in. If you do end up accidentally cutting someone off, do try to apologize to the other driver. Avoid making gestures that might be misconstrued as being “rude”. On the other hand, if you are cut off by another driver, back off and give them room to merge into your lane. Don’t Drive In the Left Lane Unless You are Keeping Up With the Flow of Traffic: If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let pass you. In Texas the law requires drivers to travel in the right lane while using the far left lane for passing only. It is also just common courtesy to let other drivers pass you if they are moving at a greater rate of speed. Do Not Tailgate: Most drivers will get nervous if not just a little angry when they feel they are being followed too closely by another driver. For safety sake, be sure to allow at least a two second space between your car and the one in front of you. Always Try to Pass Safely: If are behind another car that is moving slower than your vehicle and are unable to pass them, back off a little. Allowing them more space rather than less will give you more of a reaction time if that driver does something erratic or unexpected. When you can pass, wait till you can see both of the passed vehicle’s headlights in your rear view mirror before signaling to get back into the lane. The key to passing other drivers safely is to always signal your intentions and give them and yourself plenty of room. If you feel that another driver is following your vehicle too closely, signal and pull over to allow that driver pass. Do Not Make Gestures: Keep your hands on the wheel. Do not make any gesture that is obscene or could be mistaken as one.. Even a shake of the head or rolling the eyes can be construed as confrontational by an enraged driver. Just don’t do it. Do Not Engage and Call for Help As Soon As Possible: Avoid the temptation to engage with a belligerent or angry driver. Don’t allow yourself to become angry at them in return. When people are angry, they often do things that they regret. Take a deep breath, and stay clear of the situation by giving the aggressive driver lots of room. If you have a cellphone, do not hesitate to call for help. Also, do not go home. An aggressor may follow you and escalate the situation again later. Instead, get to a place where there are other people around such as a shopping center, convenience store, hospital or even a police station. Do not get out of the car until help arrives. If you or a loved one has died as a result or been injured in a road rage auto accident injury, we can help. Depending on the details of your case, may be able to seek survivor’s damages through a wrongful death lawsuit and see that you are justly compensated. When you call our offices, we will match you with an attorney who will go over the specifics of your case with you. We will take the time to explain the different ways in which we can help and begin the process to see that justice is served. Your initial consultation is confidential and without cost or obligation.