Road Rage Incident Serves as Tragic Reminder of Dangers on the Road
As the investigation continues into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 43 year-old husband and father of two at the hands of another motorist in Livingston County, comes a grim reminder of how quickly emotions can get out of control.
Derek Flemming was shot to death Tuesday after exiting his vehicle on Grand River Avenue and approaching the 69 year old driver of a truck. Witnesses say the two had been battling on the road for several miles before the disagreement came a tragic end with a single gunshot.
The victim's wife told police the the older driver tailgated her husband then cut him off when passing him. The two drivers came face to face a short time later while stopped at a traffic light.
It's unclear what Flemming wanted to say to the other driver. One thing is for sure, though, his chances of surviving the incident were lessened significantly when he made the choice to get out of his car.
Police say confronting another motorist is never a good idea no matter what the frustration or anger level. They say you never know who could be carrying a weapon and willing to use it.
Police are constantly patrolling roadways looking for aggressive drivers. Some areas, like parts of I-96 in mid Michigan, are known for road rage incidents. Officials say that's because motorists are "trapped" on the roadway for miles with no exit ramps to escape heightened tensions.
It's now up to prosecutors to determine whether the 69 year old deliberately killed Flemming or whether he acted out of fear for his life.
Meanwhile, the Lansing State Journal is reporting today that Flemming and his wife were heading out to pick up their children on their first day of school when the incident occurred.
Wife Amy is having trouble explaining to them where their father went and why he won't be coming home again.
Her Pinckney attorney is hoping charges will be filed.
"It is my hope that the police and prosecutors do their job in bringing the man responsible to justice," William Moore said.
"The man shot an unarmed man in broad daylight....he needs to be removed from our community and locked behind bars."
Join Jo Anne Paul weekdays for news updates on 99.1 WFMK-FM, 100.7 WITL-FM and 1240 WJIM-AM and the other stations of the Michigan Talk Network