Driver faces tougher charges for aggression behind the wheel under new Utah law

Driver faces tougher charges for aggression behind the wheel under new Utah law

ADLERBERG — A motorist was charged Monday with a felony aggravated by road rage, one of the first known prosecutions under a new Utah law that would impose harsher penalties for crimes involving road rage.

The law came into force on July 1.

On Monday, prosecutors charged 41-year-old William Louis with third-degree aggravated assault with increased road rage. The incident occurred Friday after another driver said it began in Saratoga Springs and ended in his Eagle Mountain neighborhood.

Corbin Curtis told KSL TV he was on his way home when he encountered the truck driver.

“I accelerated to get past one of the cars and the truck in front of it – I guess he thought I was trying to get in front of him,” Curtis said during an interview Tuesday. “He hits the gas, then has to hit the brakes and then gives me the middle finger.”

Corbin Curtis said the truck driver then continued to follow him as he drove along the Mountain View Corridor and then onto State Route 73.

“I just see it going by behind me – probably at 95,” Curtis said. “I was going at 60, right where it is.”

Curtis said the driver continued to follow him into his neighborhood, where the man stopped next to him near the Ranches Golf Club.

“He said something like, ‘If you keep driving like that, I will’ – and then I heard him cock his gun and point it at my head – and he said, ‘I’m going to shoot you in the fucking face.'”

Curtis said he became nervous and shaking because he had never been in such a situation before.

“He said, ‘You better get out of here before I blow you up,'” Curtis said.

Utah’s new road rage law takes effect

According to Sergeant Michael Reynolds of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, officers were finally able to locate and arrest Louis on Friday.

“Our suspect then stated that he was involved in a road rage incident,” an officer wrote in a probable cause statement at the jail. “The suspect described a similar combination to the complainant previously. The suspect stated that he had a firearm in his truck and was trying to protect himself. When I asked him to explain what he meant, the suspect stated that after an argument with the other driver, he pulled out a gun and showed it to the other driver.”

Officers arrested Louis and took him to the Utah County Jail.

Reynolds said the sheriff’s office has dealt with several road rage cases in the Eagle Mountain area.

“We’ve had a lot of serious incidents,” Reynolds said. “By the time they finally get to the Eagle Mountain area, the frustration seems to have built up.”

Reynolds told KSL he believes the new tougher anti-road rage laws will have a deterrent effect in these cases.

“We are very confident that this will curb this driving pattern and this behavior on the road,” Reynolds said.

The sergeant asked the drivers to remain calm and collected behind the wheel.

Curtis said he was grateful the situation did not end worse.

“Honestly, it was very, very scary,” Curtis said.