Four injured in road rage-related rollover accident

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Four people, three of them teenagers, were injured when their car struck a tree and flipped over on Greenway Parkway near 23rd Avenue on Friday.

Phoenix Police said it happened as a result of a road rage incident.

When emergency crews arrived on scene, they found three of the people in the car had been ejected, and the fourth was attempting to crawl out of the mangled vehicle.

A 16-year-old boy had been driving, his mother was in the passenger seat, and two other teenagers were in the back seat.

One teenage girl suffered a head injury, and the three others in the car were also seriously injured, but all are expected to survive.

Phoenix Police Officer James Holmes said the incident began when the driver of a red, Ford pick-up truck began tailing a silver Toyota and nearly rear-ended the sedan.

Holmes said that prompted the teenage boy to roll down the window and stick out his middle finger at the truck driver, a 40-year-old man.

That evidently set off the truck driver, who reached into his cab and threw a bottle at the teenager's car.

Holmes says the truck driver then drove away and made a U-turn on Greenway Parkway, and the teenager's mother told him to follow the truck.

The boy reportedly complied and sped up to catch the truck, but instead lost control of his car, struck a tree and flipped the vehicle.

"The collision happened because you've got a 16-year-old who's being encouraged to catch a pick-up truck to get a license plate because of road rage, that's why the accident happened period," Holmes said.

Beverly Walls is a nurse, and heard the crash from inside her home on Greenway Parkway. She rushed outside to help the victims. She says the teenager's mother said they had been trying to catch up with the truck.

"The mother said...that somebody threw something at their back window and she wanted to get the quote [expletive] in the red truck," Walls said.

By the time the teen crashed, the truck was gone, but witnesses were able to write down the license plate.

Police tracked down the driver and say he admitted to seeing the accident happen, but left the scene anyway.

Holmes said the truck driver, the teen and his mother all face possible charges of disorderly conduct, and the truck driver could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident.Holmes said it was lucky no one was killed in the crash.

"We are very lucky today," he said, "But there's no reason for this, there's no reason for the injuries that occurred and there's no reason for adults to behave this way."