Gun Owner Stops Road Rage Attack, Arrests Driver Who Ran Man Down

A Billing Heights man who was the passenger in a vehicle that cut off a panel van pulled his personal handgun and stopped a road-raging panel van driver at gunpoint after the van driver plowed over the driver of the pickup not once, but twice.

A road rage incident ended in Billings Heights Tuesday with the driver of a commercial truck running over another man twice after a confrontation. A passenger in the victim’s pickup then held the commercial driver at gunpoint until police arrived.

A man in a 2002 Ford F-150 had apparently cut off a 28-year-old Billings man driving a Chevrolet cargo truck on Wicks Lane at around 11:30 a.m. The commercial driver then chased the Ford driver west up Wicks Lane, said Sgt. Shane Winden, of Billings Police Department.

The panel truck followed the Ford onto Nottingham Circle, said Winden. The driver and an occupant of the Ford got out and approached the cargo truck. The driver of the cargo truck drove at them and struck one of the men, later identified as an 18-year-old Billings man. The panel truck driver then drove over the victim a second time.

The second occupant of the Ford was armed with a pistol and held the commercial driver until police arrived. Winden said the man appeared to be the legal owner of the firearm and the circumstances would allow for his actions.

Note that if the van driver had attempted to strike the injured truck driver a third time, the armed citizen would have had every legal justification to open fire on the van driver in third party self-defense of his friend’s life.

There are very few times that an armed citizen can lawfully hold another citizen at gunpoint in a citizen’s arrest and the laws governing those actions vary considerably from place to place, but authorities are stating that the decisions made by the armed citizen in this incident are justified under Montana law and he will not be charged.

The van driver, however, is likely to face charges of assault with a deadly weapon and/or attempted vehicular manslaughter.

Miraculously, the driver of the truck who was run over twice suffered only minor injuries to his legs and abdomen instead of the massive crush injuries you might expect. He was treated at the hospital and released.