Dad, kids nearly run off I-8 in road rage attack

Posted at 11:17 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 02:22:03-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A Serra Mesa family with two young children was nearly run off the road in a road rage incident on one of San Diego's busiest highways.

Chad Wilkins was bringing his kids, ages 2 and 7, home from lunch after a morning play outing. He says he pulled into the fast lane on the I-8 East, but when a sedan started tailgating him, he got back over into the slower lanes.

"I got over to let him pass and he got behind me," Wilkins said. "So I thought, 'Well he’s not going to let this go, why ever he’s mad.'”

Wilkins said the driver sped up and pulled up right next to the passenger side window of his Toyota 4Runner.

“I looked at him and I was like 'What’s going on?' you know 'What’s happening?' and his window was down and he pulled forward a little bit and he threw a water bottle out at my car and that’s never happened to me before so I was like I don’t know what to do at this point so I’m just going to get off the freeway and go home," he said. 

Wilkins says the driver continued to try to get him to pull over, so he slowed down to about 40 miles per hour trying to get the driver to pass him. He says the driver went into the shoulder, hit his 4Runner on the passenger side, and then drove away at the Auto Circle exit.

“As soon as that happened I looked right at my son and said 'Are you ok?'" Wilkins said. "His eyes were wide and he had French fries all over him and he was like 'Uh oh' so I was like 'Yeah big uh oh.'”

His wife Bana was at work when the accident happened and she rushed home to take the kids to the doctor as a precaution. She says they had a "Baby On Board" sign clearly visible, and the driver would have seen the children's car seats.

"My children and my family are my world. And if I didn’t have them I would just be done, there would be no more reason," Bana said. "(The driver) clearly didn't care."

Despite the minor-looking cosmetic damage, Wilkins says the incident damaged the 4Runner's axle, suspension, and tires - it's totaled. 

The couple filed a report with the California Highway Patrol, who say they need people to come forward with information since Wilkins wasn't able to get the license plate number.

The couple hopes someone can help identify the driver before it's too late.

“I’m afraid with this person out there the next time he’s going to really hurt someone,” Bana said.

Wilkins describes the man in his late 20's or early 30's, driving a gray, silver, or tan sedan that looked like late 90's or early 2000's model, with damage on the driver's side.

CHP says the best thing you can do if you are the target of road rage is to call 911, exit the freeway, and drive to a heavily populated area.