Road rage incident highlights driving safety |

Road rage incident highlights driving safety

An apparent road-rage incident Tuesday in Truckee has police urging drivers to use caution while on the road.

One person was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of throwing a rock at a vehicle and another for allegedly being intoxicated in connection with a violent encounter Tuesday on Prosser Dam Road.

The incident began on a nearby gravel road when a person driving a Cadillac SUV passed a slow-moving Jeep that was following behind a tow truck, police said.

As the Cadillac attempted to pass, the Jeep started swerving back and forth, police said, but the Cadillac was able to pass anyway.

The driver of the Cadillac then encountered a tow truck pulled over further down the road. Reed Lowry, a Kings Beach resident who police said was a passenger in the tow truck, was in the middle of the road holding a rock, police said.

Lowry allegedly threw the rock at the Cadillac as it passed by, denting the side of the vehicle.

“If it had hit the window, it could have easily gone through and killed [the driver],” said Truckee Police Sgt. Tim Hargrove.

Lowry was arrested and charged on suspicion of a felony vehicle code infraction in connection with the incident.

As the Cadillac passed Lowry, the Jeep appeared behind the Cadillac. The Jeep was driving at high speeds and attempted to run the Cadillac off the road, according to police reports.

The driver of the Cadillac called police as he raced in front of the Jeep at speeds that he estimated at 85 mph. Police arrived on the scene and arrested the driver of the Jeep, Larry McIntosh, of Truckee.

He was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, police reports said.

The investigation into the incident is continuing, and Hargrove said the department may suggest an “assault with a deadly weapon” charge for McIntosh.

Avoid conflicts while on the road

Truckee police are aware that a traffic argument can easily escalate into a harmful or deadly encounter, as evidenced by the road rage conflict between Timothy Brooks and Robert Ash last summer that ended with Ash stabbed to death.

“When we get a call on road rage, it does get an immediate response,” said Truckee Police Sgt. Tim Hargrove, “because normally it has already gotten to the point of violence.”

Truckee police handle several road rage calls each year.

“They’re pretty common,” Hargrove said.

Hargrove said drivers should always keep a cool head in traffic encounters.

“People get involved in these things and they lose control, and it’s very easy to do something that you will regret,” he said.

To keep a traffic incident from turning violent the Truckee Police Department suggests:

• Don’t engage other people – One angry driver can’t start a fight unless another driver is willing to join in. You can protect yourself against aggressive drivers by refusing to become angry at them. Cool down and continue your trip.

• Steer clear – Give angry drivers lots of room. A driver you may have offended can “snap” and become dangerous. If the other driver tries to pick a fight, put as much distance as possible between your vehicle and the other car, and then get away as quickly as possible while driving carefully. Do not, under any circumstances, pull off to the side of the road and try to settle things.

• Avoid eye contact – If another driver is acting angry with you, don’t make eye contact. Looking or staring at another driver can turn an impersonal encounter between two vehicles into a personal duel.

• Get help – If you believe the other driver is following you or is trying to start a fight, get help. If you have a cellular phone, dial 911 to call the police. Otherwise, drive to a place where there are people around, such as a police station, convenience store, shopping center, or even a hospital. Do not get out of your car and do not go home.

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