Man Arrested For Road Rage Incident in Lehi
Police have arrested a suspect involved in the road rage incident that shut down the I-15 freeway in Lehi on Monday. According to KSL News, Jesse David Luker, 31-years-old of Salt Lake City, was arrested and booked into Utah County jail on charges of 5 counts of aggravated assault, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, and a charge of reckless endangerment.
The situation unfolded Monday morning, January 25, 2021, on southbound I-15 in Lehi when drivers of white and black trucks started swerving into each
other. In the white truck, a 2019 Ram, was the driver, George Ruiz-Acosta, and four passengers. In the black truck, a lifted 2010 Chevy Silverado, was suspect Jesse Luker. Meanwhile, the road rage intensified to the point that Luker pulled out a gun, rolled down his passenger side window(s), and started shooting at the white truck, claiming he was just “aiming at the tires,” all while he was traveling 70 mph down the highway. The bullet(s), however, struck the driver and driver-side rear passenger.
Amazingly, despite being shot, Ruiz-Acosta was able to execute a PIT-maneuver on the black truck’s right side, causing it to crash into the median, and disabling it. The driver then exited the freeway and drove to IHC American Fork Hospital where he and his passenger checked in to get medical treatment. By reports, the driver’s injuries were not as bad as initially thought, while the rear passenger apparently required surgery to deal with his gunshot injuries. While Luker was charged as described above, the Utah County Attorney General’s office is said to be screening potential charges against Ruiz-Acosta.
Legally speaking, those that provoke or engage in road rage behavior are violating a number of safety laws and will be held criminally liable and well as civilly liable for injuries and damages that stem from their road rage. It takes two to tangle and it is unknown from the story what role Ruiz-Acosta may have played in provoking Luker to act as he did. I do think his PIT-manuever was masterfully played out and makes me wonder if he has a law enforcement background. Short of disabling Luker’s lifted pickup truck, Luker very well may have gotten away after committing a felony discharge of a weapon out of a moving car.
The one clear victim in all of this was the passenger in the back seat that got shot. While he most definitely has a claim against Luker, he may also have a claim against Ruiz-Acosta if he contributed to the escalation of the road rage incident that resulted in his injuries.
Ron Kramer is a trial lawyer practicing law in West Jordan and throughout all of Utah.