Van shot in road rage incident

February 25, 2013

South Strabane Township police are looking for the driver of a black Jeep who may have fired a shot from a small-caliber handgun or pellet gun at another driver during an incident of road rage Friday afternoon.

The victim told township police he was driving south from the 1300 block of Route 19 (Washington Road) to the 1200 block when a black Jeep started tailgating his Ford Econoline van.

The victim told police he was driving around the speed limit in the 40-mph zone. He said he increased his speed in an effort to distance himself from the Jeep, but the other driver continued to tailgate his vehicle. The victim then entered a lane to make a left turn onto Davis School Road. The driver of the Jeep passed him on the right and pulled in front of him to also make a left on Davis School.

After the vehicles made the left turn, the driver of the Jeep pulled into the parking lot of a business at 1200 Washington. The victim said the other driver got out and made a hand motion for the other man to pull into the lot, yelling at him “Hey, come here.”

The victim continued on Davis School and then noticed he was again being followed by the Jeep. At Munce Ridge Road, the victim stopped at a stop sign. He told South Strabane police he noticed the Jeep stop, left of the center of the road, about 30 feet behind his van.

As the victim drove into the intersection, approaching the crest of the hill, he heard a popping sound and saw the glass in the rear window of his van shatter and fall inside the vehicle. He told police he looked at the clock and noted the time was 3:53 p.m. He saw the driver of the Jeep turn around and flee back toward Washington Road.

No projectile was found inside the van. Police said it may have ricocheted off the glass when it hit.

The driver of the Jeep is described as white, in his 40s or 50s, well-groomed with dark thinning hair, mustache and dressed casually. The Jeep is several years old, with a marking on the hood. Police said the marking could be a decal, discoloration of paint or fading paint to expose gray primer.

Anyone with information on the driver or who may have witnessed any part of the incident is asked to call police at 724-225-8111.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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