Four-wheeler driver charged for road rage against trucker

| Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Police in Indiana say an armed automobile driver flashed a handgun at a trucker before forcing the trucker to stop in a construction zone on Interstate 65.

According to court documents, truck driver Robert Bodell said that on Aug. 13 he was driving north on I-65 in Clark County, IN, when a red 1997 Pontiac Sunfire pulled up beside him in a lane that was about to end. Bodell told police the driver cut in front of him at the last second, gave him “the finger,” and showed a black handgun out his car window.

In his 2006 white Volvo truck and tanker, Bodell backed off after he saw the gun, but soon saw the red car pulled on the shoulder of the highway about a quarter-mile ahead. The car pulled into the single lane of traffic, blocking Bodell, court documents state. Bodell told police the driver then got out with his gun and pointed the gun at him while yelling.

Franklin Skirvin Jr., 42, was charged with three felonies including one count of intimidation while armed with a deadly weapon, one count of criminal recklessness, one count of pointing a firearm, and one misdemeanor count of obstructing traffic.

The driver got back into his car and continued north on I-65.

Skirvin told police that he stopped his car to ask the driver why he cut him off, and acknowledged having the gun in his hand, but said he tucked it into his waist before approaching the truck driver.

Police called rated the clash’s intensity “an 11” on a scale of one to 10.

“Not only did he put his life in danger, he put the truck driver’s life in danger, and he also put all those people who were traveling up and down the highway’s lives in danger,” said Indiana State Police officer Jerry Goodin.

Skirvin told WHAS-TV, a local ABC affiliate, that he would fight the charges. The news site reported that Skirvin was charged last November with intimidation with a deadly weapon, but Skirvin said the situation was “between some drug dealers and himself.”

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer