A road rage incident occurred earlier this week in New Mexico over a traffic lane dispute and ended tragically when 4-year-old Lily Garcia was shot and killed. Her father, Alan Garcia, had just picked up his two children from school and was trying to exit the freeway when another car cut him off and forced him out of his lane. Garcia was said to have gestured and swore at the other driver and then things spiraled out of control. The other driver opened fire on Garcia’s vehicle, shooting daughter Lily in the head. Garcia reported to police he heard gunshots and then his seven-year-old son said “she’s bleeding,” referring to his younger sister.
32-year-old Tony Torrez is the suspect in the case and was arrested on Wednesday. He has been charged with murder, assault, child abuse in addition to other crimes. He has a $650,000 cash-only bond.
It is difficult to imagine how such a tragedy can occur over what began as a seemingly trivial road rage incident. It is important to keep in mind that these situations can quickly escalate and you should do everything in your power to avoid these situations from occurring, as you can only be responsible for your own actions.
Below are several tips for avoiding and defusing a road rage situation:
- Avoid making angry gestures. It’s only natural to want to honk your horn, flash your lights or make a certain hand gesture when you are cut off by another driver, however this is a sure-fire way to quickly heat up a situation.
- Allow space between you and other drivers. Particularly in heavy traffic situations, we tend to drive a bit closer to cars on the highway and roads than we typically would. Try to build in a few extra feet between you and the car in front of you to allow a buffer between vehicles.
- Do not make eye contact. When confronted with an angry driver, do not make direct eye contact with that person. Sending them a look of disgust could further infuriate an already testy driver, so it is best to avoid contact altogether.
- Find another parking space. Road rage can also occur in a parking lot when you’ve so patiently waited for that coveted spot, only to find another car swoops in and takes it right before your eyes. Let it go. There will be another place for you to park and it isn’t worth challenging someone when you have no idea how they may react.
- Stay calm. Try as best you can to take deep breaths, listen to soothing music, and maintain a positive perspective on the situation. This will help defuse the situation.
If you have questions about road rage in Florida or if you have been involved in a road rage incident, contact attorney TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A.