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Fender-bender or road rage: police to re-investigate

A big rig truck rear-ended a Toyota sedan near Yorba Linda, but no one was injured. This sounds like a routine minor traffic accident, but a cell-phone video and the Toyota owner's statement make it sound far more like a truck accident caused by road rage.

The Toyota was headed westbound on the 91 freeway near Yorba Linda and was stuck between two semi-trailer trucks when traffic came to a halt. The driver felt an impact from the truck on his rear bumper. He emerged from his car to inspect the damage, and hollered a question at the truck driver. "Why are you pushing me?" The Toyota driver returned to his car and, ten seconds later, the truck hit him a second time. A few seconds later, the truck slammed into the rear end of the Toyota, pushing it into the rear of the truck ahead of it. Fearing for his and his wife's lives, the Toyota driver was able to pull onto the shoulder of the freeway, where a unit of the California Highway Patrol was checking on an unrelated accident.

The CHP officers were initially inclined to conclude that the three collisions were all accidental, but their minds may have been changed by the fortuitous chance that the entire incident was recorded on a cell phone. The passenger in another car that was not involved in the accident heard the Toyota driver shouting and began to record the incident on his cell phone. The entire video was given to a local television station and showed on the air. The CHP has said that, based on the video, the entire incident will be re-investigated to determine if road rage played a role in it. If the truck driver is convicted of acting from road rage, his license to drive can be suspended for as long as six months.

Fortunately, no one appears to have been injured in this incident, but the outcome could easily have been different if the vehicles were moving at high speed. Serious injuries could easily have resulted. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in an incident caused by road rage may wish to confer with a lawyer who specializes in auto accident cases. A knowledgeable attorney can provide a helpful analysis of the facts and an evaluation of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost income.

Source: ABC7 Eyewitness News, "Road-Rage Incident Near Yorba Linda Caught on Cellphone Video," Eileen Frere, Sep. 14, 2015

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