Man Terrorizes Utah Family on I-15
Police are looking for a man that terrorized a family on the I-15 freeway in Utah yesterday. According to KSL News, a woman was driving on the I-15 in her SUV and because of an accident up ahead, was merging over to the left, into the carpool lane, when she was rear ended by a man driving a base model Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with an aftermarket bumper. This rear-ender was not accidental as the Toyota accelerated and rammed into the rear of the woman’s car. The woman made an emergency Facetime call to her spouse and told him that the man had just hit her. She told him: “He’s trying to do a hit and run.”
The woman reported that before she merged over, she felt the man was already coming into her lane, so she accelerated to get ahead of him and over into the HOV lane. By her account, this must have been what set this hothead off because he then started screaming at her family, saying “I’m going to kill you! I’m going to kill the kids! Get out, I will show you what’s up!” She was then rear ended again! Almost like a scene from the cult classic movie Duel, when she tried to accelerate up to 90 mph and change lanes, the guy kept his speed up and changed lanes with her for another 10 miles before the UHP showed up and helped her exit the freeway. Unfortunately, this road rage psycho got away. The woman (or her husband) was luckily able to get a screen shot of this individual so people can hopefully identify him and let the police know. The family is offering a $5,000 reward to the person who turns him in. Those that have information are invited to call the UHP SLC Dispatch at 801-284-5520.
Legally speaking, the family obviously has a claim against this creep if and when they can identify him. That’s after the criminal law authorities get a piece of him. In the alternative, a claim can be made against the uninsured insurance portion of the family’s auto insurance. Generally speaking, hit and run injuries and property damage claims need to be made with clear and convincing evidence besides the victim’s say so. Here, the damage to the rear bumper of the family SUV would satisfy that requirement. Further, all occupants of the car are entitled to $3,000 in medical coverage from the family’s own auto insurance if the impact caused any of them injuries. This would also include psychological harm they may have experienced by this individual.
The UHP advises not confronting aggressive drivers to help deescalate the situation. This is good advice. Any confrontation or reciprocal aggression could potentially be seen as contributing to the situation happening and could lower the value of your potential claim.
Ron Kramer is an attorney practicing personal injury law in West Jordan and throughout Utah.