KENT, Wash. – A Kent man said he almost died after getting into a confrontation with another driver on Highway 18 near Auburn. Will Davis said he had to jump off a bridge to escape the man trying to drive him over after they both stopped on an exit ramp.
The case of road rage is being investigated by the Washington State Patrol, which is asking for the public’s help in identifying the white truck with heavy damage to the driver-side door.
“He came flying up, probably 90 to 100 miles-per-hour up to my bumper,” said Davis. “I tapped my brakes and he just stayed there.”
Davis said this occurred last Friday when he was driving home from basketball practice with his daughter, when the white truck came out of nowhere. For at least five minutes, Davis said, the two played cat and mouse eastbound on Highway 18. His 12-year-old daughter was sitting next to him in the car.
“He’s swerving into my lane, trying to run me off the road,” Davis said. “I’d slow and he’d slow, and I’d speed up and he’d speed up. I couldn’t get away from him.”
At one point, Davis said, he was neck-and-neck with the other driver, a thin, white man in his mid-30s to 40s, with a mustache. “You can see arms moving and he’s screaming.”
Davis said he knew at that moment he needed to get away. He waited until the last minute, and turned to make an upcoming exit. “Then he makes the exit,” he said.
Davis said the next thing he did almost cost him his life.
“I stopped right there on the ramp and I get out,” he said.
“If they are showing signs of aggression towards you in your car, then you can expect that might happen if you get out of your car,” said Trooper Chase Van Cleave, with Washington State Patrol. Van Cleave arrived on scene after paramedics. He said although road rage does happen, what happened in this case is rare and disturbing.
“He punches it,” said Davis, about the man and his white truck’s engine. “He tries to hit me with his door.”
Davis said the man missed, then threw his truck in reverse.
“His door folded to the front of his truck and I am basically stuck spinning between his truck and the guardrail,” he described, showing the lacerations to his arms.
Still standing, Davis said the man made his final move and put his white truck back in drive.
“I just remember headlights and he’s coming full speed at me.”
Davis said he thought he could jump out of the way, but didn’t know on the other side of the guardrail lay a 70-foot drop.
“I just remember laying on the ground groaning,” he said.
“Until we get a chance to find out who this was and figure out what was going on, they can always do it again,” said Van Cleave. “They did it once and they can do it again.”
The Washington State Patrol is looking for the driver of the truck and warning other drivers about road rage.
“Anytime you think that you’re in contact with an aggressive driver you need to take every precaution for yourself and for your family,” said Van Cleave. Drive someplace well-lit, populated and safe, stay in your car, call us and let us come help you.”
Davis said the scrapes and bruises are painful, but what hurts the most is that no one knows who the driver of the white truck is.
“I want him caught, I want him prosecuted. He left my daughter on a bridge thinking her dad died.”
If you know anything about the truck, owner or remember the chase, you are urged to call Washington State Patrol Detective Russ Haake at (425) 401-7717.