Suspected road rage incident ends in serious crash in Lake County

PAINESVILLE, Ohio --  A road rage incident escalates and ends with a serious car crash and two drivers being sent to the hospital.

Now, law enforcement is looking for a third driver, who might be the suspected “road rager."

Lake County sheriff's deputies say an 18-year-old man told them he unintentionally “cut off” a car while pulling out of the parking lot at Pfabe’s Music onto Mentor Ave.

The car then started following him and the driver, he describes as a “shorter and stocky” man, at one point got out of his car, and began shouting at the teenager.

The teen says he didn’t want a confrontation so he sped away and ran the stop sign at Stratford and Barrington Ridge, blindsiding a grandmother who was driving with her grandchildren in the back seat.

“I’ve never been in an accident like that,” said the woman, who asked to only be identified as Judy. “I don’t even remember the airbag coming out; it was so fast and hard, and spun me around 180 degrees. I was facing the other way.”

The teenager's silver Volkswagen Jetta was also totaled when it ricocheted into a utility pole.

“He was going so fast,” said Judy.

The teen immediately admitted that it “was all his fault,” and that “he ran the stop sign,” because he was being chased and thought he could get away.

A witness told investigators they “observed a dark blue vehicle and could hear a male shouting from the car” just after the accident.

Investigators want to speak with alleged road rage driver and have released images of the car which is thought to be a dark blue or black Nissan Altima.

Car believed to be involved in suspected road rage incident in Lake County.

Both the teenager and Judy were rushed to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Fortunately, Judy's grandchildren were also not seriously hurt.

She understands the teen might have been scared, but says,”It’s terrible. I feel like he should’ve still stopped; you can’t just run a stop sign. We’re all lucky, very, very lucky.”

Law enforcement recommends victims of road rage or anyone who is being followed call 911 immediately and drive to a police department.

Anyone with information about this case should contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at 440-350-5520.