MARY MEAUX — Road rage history shows dangerous & sometimes fatal results
A Jefferson County grand jury is set to decide whether to file charges against a 50-year-old Beaumont man who shot and injured a 29-year-old Port Arthur man Sunday after a road rage altercation.
The tables are turned a bit in this case in that the shooter’s daughter was driving when they said they saw the victim allegedly swerving in and out of traffic. The father told the daughter to pass the vehicle and that’s when, they said, the other driver sped up and followed them home.
Police reported the Port Arthur man go out of his vehicle and approached the family and that’s when the shooter — identified by police as a disabled man — told his family to put their heads down while he got his handgun and shot the other man multiple times because he feared for his family’s safety.
As of mid-week no charges have been filed in what Beaumont police are calling an aggravated assault case.
Beaumont Police Officer Carol Riley said statements have been taken and the case has been submitted to the District Attorney’s office.
The Port Arthur man is recovering from the shooting.
Local police including Port Arthur get calls of possible road rage incidents on a regular basis — usually from a third party. Many times by the time they get to the location the drivers are gone.
Some years ago there was a road rage incident in the area of the Rainbow Bridge and Texas 73 that involved a stabbing and ramming of vehicles.
About a year later Gary Naquin, 34, of Groves lost his life in a road rage incident that involved a Port Arthur woman, Zola Ann Wilson, who was mad because a commercial vehicle threw up a rock that hit her windshield and cracked it. She passed the commercial vehicle, pulled in front of it and hit her brakes and came to a complete stop. Naquin, who was behind the other vehicles, couldn’t stop in time and hit the truck.
Naquin died several days later at a hospital; his wife and children were also injured in the crash that occurred in the 7000 block of U.S. 69.
Wilson later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in jail and two $500 fines.
How often do we become angry at a driver we feel is driving stupidly?
Whether speeding, going too slow, not using their turn signal, weaving in and out of their lane, playing on their cell phone — it can be frustrating to be the driver near these people.
It can also be dangerous.
There is no magic advice other than use common sense and follow the rules of the road.
Mary Meaux is a reporter for The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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