Bad Weather, Driving and Tempers Lead to Possibility of Criminal Charges being Filed

Editor’s Note: It’s interesting when a slow driver suddenly finds it in themselves to be able to speed up after being overtaken.
Chuck Wyatt

According to a Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, a combination of the recent bad weather, bad driving decisions and bad tempers, on the part of two motorists, may lead to criminal charges being filed.

As no arrests have been made in this incident, the names of the two men, while known, are being withheld, as they are not part of the public knowledge information at this time.

In a statement to The Alpenhorn News, the spokesperson related that on January 5, around 7:30 p.m., a report was made to the Sheriff’s Department regarding an assault, allegedly both physical and with a motor vehicle, that occurred on Highway 18, just below the stretch of highway known as “The Narrows.”

According to the Sheriff’s Department, a 23-year-old male was reportedly following a 53-year-old male on Highway 18 and had become frustrated with the driver’s slow speed.

According to statements obtained, the 23-year-old motorist “illegally and unsafely passed” the lead vehicle just east of the Highway 18/138 interchange. The 53-year-old driver, reportedly becoming irate over being unsafely passed, sped up and reportedly bumped the vehicle driven by the younger driver with his car, and then pulled alongside of the man, reportedly pacing him.

The Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said both drivers stopped their vehicles in the traffic lanes, blocking both of the down bound traffic lanes, and became involved in a fistfight.

The 53-year-old is reported to have grabbed the 23-year-old by the throat and threw him back into his vehicle, then started to return to his own vehicle, apparently intending to continuing driving down the mountain. The 23-year-old reportedly jumped back out of his car and positioned himself in front of the other vehicle, to prevent him from leaving.

The Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said the younger driver reported that he told the older driver that he was not going to leave until after he had talked to the California Highway Patrol. The older driver reportedly stated that he was not waiting and continued to attempt to drive around the younger man, reportedly bumping him with the front of his vehicle in his attempts to make him move out of the way.

The Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said the older male successfully moved around the younger man, but before he could drive away, the 23-year-old reportedly jumped on the hood of the older driver’s car as he was traveling down the mountain. According to a Sheriff’s Department official, the younger man rode on top of the hood for approximately one-half mile before the vehicle stopped.

According to Sheriff’s officials, the younger man had various complaints of pain, but no visible injuries. The older man reportedly had no complaints of pain or injuries.

The Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said that no arrests were made at that time and that the report was going to be submitted to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for review.


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