95 incident state’s second involving guns this month
By Uriah A. Kiser
Published: March 24, 2010
Updated: March 24, 2010
Update 11 p.m. Wednesday: Both drivers arrested on attempted murder charges. Click Dump truck driver arrested in 95 road rage incident | InsideNova.com
to read more.
WOODBRIDGE, Va.—Firing a gun in the middle of a busy roadway has happened twice in Virginia in the last few weeks.
That method of dealing with road rage landed a 25-year-old Woodbridge man in jail without bond Tuesday. State police say Gabriel Poventud fired 13 shots at a dump truck on Interstate 95 south during evening rush hour Tuesday.
On March 15, a 69-year-old man driving on a neighborhood street in Pittsylvania County, near North Carolina border, rammed his car into another vehicle four times and then got out and fired a gun in the air before speeding off.
Tuesday’s road rage incident on I-95 began near Va. 123, as a dump truck driver tried to merge from the express lanes onto the main lines. The truck driver twice struck a 2004 Jaguar sedan in his way, sparking a highway fight.
After fighting for position, the truck and sedan ended up pinned together against a Jersey wall near Va. 234.
State police said Poventud then got out of his Jaguar, brandished a handgun and fired 13 shots at the dump truck, striking it four times. His 2-year-old daughter was in the car at the time.
No one was injured.
Drivers on the heavily congested interstate watched in shock.
“I was right behind the shooter’s car, and that dump truck rammed the Jaguar on purpose. And then, when he backed up and the two interlocked their fenders, the dump truck again rammed that Jaguar, on the driver’s side on purpose,” said motorist Jim Leavells, who was behind the Jaguar.
Gunfire is not common on area roads, but weapons have been used in 37 percent of all reported cases of road rage in the U.S., according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
“More than 1,500 people are killed or injured in road rage incidents each year in this country and when you add a gun to the mix the situation is more likely to spiral out of control,” said AAA John B. Townsend II. “Gun-toting drivers are more likely to become involved in road rage incidents, study after study has confirmed.”
Studies have shown that young men, and young adults overall, have admitted to making obscene gestures, cursing or blatantly shouting at other drivers while they were carrying a handgun, said Townsend. He quoted a 2006 Harvard study of 2,400 drivers, which showed motorists who carry guns inside their car are more likely to engage in road rage.
Both Poventud and the dump truck driver – 44-year-old James Bringham of Woodbridge – face charges stemming from Tuesday’s road rage incident.
Poventud is charged with child endangerment, attempted homicide, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, shooting a missile into an occupied vehicle and reckless use of a firearm, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.. Bingham is charged with reckless driving.
State officials urge drivers to stay calm behind the wheel, to ignore eye contact or rude gestures and not to return them if they are displayed by another driver.
Drivers should also avoid blocking the passing lane. If going slower than other drivers, get out of the left lane, said Geller.
Staff writer Uriah A. Kiser can be reached at 703-878-8065.
[emphasis added see NRA comments below]