UTAH — A road rage incident Saturday has Utah Highway Patrol officials urging motorists to consider the potential deadly consequences of engaging in road rage and reminding drivers that the dispute isn’t worth risking lives.
At approximately 5 p.m. Saturday, the occupants of a silver BMW got into a verbal argument with the occupants of a gray Trailblazer at the intersection of state Route 201 and 8000 West in Magna, according to a statement issued by the Utah Highway Patrol.
When the light turned green, the driver of the Trailblazer pulled in front of the BMW and “braked checked” it, officials said. The driver of the BMW then changed lanes, pulled parallel to the Trailblazer and swerved into the Trailblazer’s lane.
The driver of the Trailblazer retaliated by swerving at the BMW but then lost control and slid off the right side of the roadway, according to the Highway Patrol.
“After sliding a short distance, the Trailblazer began to roll and an unrestrained passenger was ejected,” UHP officials said. “He was thrown a considerable distance from the Trailblazer and sustained life-threatening injuries.”
That passenger, identified as 30-year-old Jared Hansen of Ogden, was flown by medical helicopter to the University of Utah Hospital in “extremely critical condition.”
The driver, identified as 30-year-old Brandon Atkinson of West Valley City, and another passenger in the Trailblazer, identified as 28-year-old Thomas Evans of Salt Lake City, were not ejected as the SUV rolled. They suffered only minor cuts and scrapes.
Troopers found drugs and drug paraphernalia in the Trailblazer and arrested Atkinson for alleged DUI, according to the Highway Patrol.
The BMW did not remain at the scene, and authorities said they are pursuing several leads to identify the vehicle and its driver.
Following Saturday’s road rage rollover, Utah Highway Patrol officials issued the following statement:
Troopers want to remind all drivers that it is not worth risking yours or someone else’s life to retaliate against someone who cut you off or otherwise offended you with their driving. The best course of action is to slow down, calm down, let the other driver get past you, and arrive at your destination safely.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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