A young man, 19-year-old Dylan Spaid, and his girlfriend were driving home on I-20 near Matlock Road on Sunday afternoon when an altercation occurred with another driver.
Witnesses said that the car pulled up to the couple’s truck and a man started shooting at Spaid. The gunman and his driver sped off and left the teen to die as his truck continued forward on the interstate. The young woman grabbed the wheel and steered the truck into this building. She fortunately only suffered a laceration to her head.
Shockingly, a few hours later another 19-year-old was shot in the head while driving on I-30 in Mesquite.
Although police have not said that the two incidents were related, the description of the vehicles are similar.
My heart goes out to the three victims and their families. I hope our law enforcement officials catch the perpetrator quickly and bring him to justice. Police are searching for a black four-door sedan, possibly a BMW or Mercedes, with silver rims and tinted windows.
WTH, have our Texas roads become the scene for Wild West shootouts on wheels?
A car becomes a lethal weapon when an angry person is behind the wheel. An angry driver can tailgate or ram into or force a victim off the road. Assault with a deadly weapon can include a motor vehicle.
Just being subjected to an angry tirade can cause the victim to panic and have a wreck. But guns quickly notch up the level of roadway violence.
That’s why the fact that Texas is number two in gun violence on the road is so unnerving. A frightening 247 incidents of road rage involving a firearm occurred in 2014 nationwide — and that number more than doubled to 620 last year.
An incredible 20 percent of those incidents happened in Texas. This means that 126 Texas roadway confrontations escalated into gun violence last year.
The Wild West mayhem continues unabated in 2017. Last month in Richardson a 27-year-old man was shot and killed during a road rage confrontation. And as a personal injury lawyer, I was appalled to hear that a Texas judge was accused of pulling a gun on motorists as he tried to run them off the road several months ago.
Road rage is unbelievably common. An AAA Foundation study found that almost all drivers had engaged in road rage, including shouting, honking, tailgating, making hand gestures or acting aggressively to other motorists.Four percent, a shocking 7.6 million drivers, reached the point in which they got out of their cars and confronted another driver. And a startling three percent, or 5.7 million drivers, went so far as to purposely hit another vehicle with theirs.
How do people who might otherwise remain calm and courteous under pressure become that angry? A researcher on guns and road rage explained that people often feel safe showing their hostility within the confines of an automobile which gives the motorist “power, protection, easy escape and anonymity.”
Please be careful when you are driving in North Texas.
To avoid being a victim, back down, stay clear and don’t engage an irate driver. It’s not worth the chance that the guy tailgating you thinks he’s Wild Bill Hickok.
Contact my office if you have been the victim of road rage or another car wreck in Fort Worth or Dallas.