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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Road rage is killing Hoosiers

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The Indiana State Police announced via Facebook that a 17-year-old girl was shot after honking at someone who cut her off while driving on I-465 March 20, 2024.

The teen said she honked at the driver who responded by opening fire on her vehicle.

Bullets pierced the windshield, ripping through the driver’s seat. The driver was unharmed.

RELATED: Indiana road rage crisis ranks third worst in the country

“I can only imagine how terrifying and traumatizing it can be for a young person or anybody for that matter to experience something like this,” said ISP Sgt. John Perrine.

“That’s concerning. Last year, we had 56 actual shootings, with more than 300 incidents of somebody pointing or displaying a firearm during a road rage.”

There was also a fatal shooting that occurred during a road rage incident on I-80/94 in Lake Station, Indiana, in the early hours of March 6.

Troopers received a call around 4 a.m. from a man who said he was involved in an altercation with another driver between Ripley Street and Central Avenue.

When police arrived at the scene, they found Mark Brant, 55, dead from a gunshot wound.
Troopers took the man who made the original call into custody on I-65, two miles away, shortly after the incident.

“He didn’t stay behind. He continued driving down the roadway and then when he called us, our dispatchers told him to pull over,” said ISP Sgt. Glen Field. “So, we had troopers going to two separate locations and were able to determine that they were related.”

A recent investigation by the Simmrin Law Group analyzing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uncovered a troubling pattern of road rage in Indiana.

The findings indicate that Indiana ranks third in the country for fatal crashes stemming from road rage incidents.

Between 2017 and 2021, 7.3% of all fatal crashes in Indiana involved drivers experiencing road rage. This equates to 486 occurrences where vehicular anger and aggression led to tragic fatalities.

In 2021, there were 126 road rage incidents, which doubled the 51 recorded in 2017.

According to the American Psychological Association, environmental factors, like crowded roads, can boost anger behind the wheel. These factors along with displaced anger from other high-stress personal issues are linked to the cause of road rage.

The research findings can help Hoosiers understand the root causes of road rage and the proactive solutions that Indiana can implement to create safer roads.

Indiana State Police continue to investigate the March 20 shooting incident involving the 17-year-old.

Pierre encourages people who see a road rage incident on the interstate to call 911 immediately, even if you are not involved. You can contact state police or call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

Contact staff writer Jade Jackson at (317) 762-7853 or by email JadeJ@IndyRecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @IAMJADEJACKSON.

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