Driver faces enhanced felony charge under new Utah law after Eagle Mountain road rage incident

Jul 10, 2024, 8:50 AM

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — A driver was charged Monday with a road rage-enhanced felony charge, one of the first known prosecutions under a new Utah law that promises tougher penalties for road rage-related crimes.

The law went into effect on July 1.

On Monday, prosecutors charged 41-year-old William Louis with third-degree felony aggravated assault with a road range enhancement stemming from an incident Friday that another driver said began in Saratoga Springs and ended in his Eagle Mountain neighborhood.

Corbin Curtis told KSL TV he was driving home when he encountered the truck driver.

“I sped up to get around one of the cars and the truck that was in front of it — I guess he thought I was trying to get in front of him,” Curtis said during an interview Tuesday. “He stomps on his gas and then has to slam on his brakes and then gives me the middle finger.”

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

“I just see him hauling from behind me — like probably going 95,” Curtis said. “I was going 60 where it is right there.”

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

“He was like, ‘If you keep driving like a b-word, I’m gonna’ — and then I heard him cock his gun and point it up at my head level—and he’s like, ‘I’m gonna shoot you in the effing face.’”

Curtis said he began to get nervous and shake because he had never been in a situation like that.

“He was like, ‘You better drive off before I blast you,’” Curtis said.

Utah’s new road rage law goes into effect

According to Sgt. Michael Reynolds with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, deputies ultimately located Louis Friday and detained him.

“Our suspect then stated that he was in a road rage incident,” a deputy wrote in a jail probable cause statement. “The suspect described a similar combination as the reporting party earlier had. The suspect made statements that he had a firearm in his truck and wanted to protect himself. When I asked him to explain what he meant, suspect stated that after arguing with the other driver, he pulled a gun out and showed it to the other driver.”

Deputies arrested Louis and booked him into the Utah County Jail.

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

“We’ve had a lot of serious incidents,” Reynolds said. “It seems by the time they get to the Eagle Mountain area, there are frustrations that have mounted.”

Reynolds told KSL he believed the new road rage enhancement would prove to be a deterrent in these cases.

“We’re very hopeful it will curb this driving pattern and these behaviors on the road,” Reynolds said.

The sergeant urged drivers to stay calm and kind behind the wheel.

Curtis said he was grateful the situation didn’t end any worse than it did.

“It was very, very scary, honestly,” Curtis said.

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Driver faces enhanced felony charge under new Utah law after Eagle Mountain road rage incident