Trucker's wit extinguishes motorists' road rage escape

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Monday, September 30, 2013

Truck drivers are often the first to defuse arguments by other truckers who are critical of “four-wheelers” and other motorists who don’t drive carefully and courteously.

It would be sound advice, however, to warn anyone wanting to take out road rage on a truck driver: truckers have an arsenal of safety devices at their disposal and they’ve probably thought of ways to use them.

A man now behind bars in Pennsylvania has learned similar truths from experience after a trucker he attacked sprayed him with a fire extinguisher, helping police identify the suspect.

Police in Pennsylvania say a road raging motorist struck a truck driver in the head with a wrench before attempting to flee the scene Thursday, Sept. 27.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, truck driver Robert Walsh was heading south on Route 100 in Lowhill Township, Pa., when Walsh tried to pass a car driven by Edwin Rodriguez Figueroa, 48, of New Tripoli, Pa.

Figueroa reportedly hit the gas and wouldn’t let the truck pass, then slowed down to 25 mph. Walsh, 51, of New Jersey, flashed his high beams, and both vehicles eventually stopped at construction zone lane closure, the Morning Call newspaper reported.

Figueroa then left his vehicle and retrieved a wrench from his truck, banging the wrench on Walsh’s truck and breaking a headlight. The motorist reportedly climbed onto the truck and opened Walsh’s door, hitting him in the arm and the back of the head.

“Walsh said Figueroa threatened to get a gun and kill him,” the Morning Call reported.

Walsh, who had raised his arms to defend himself, scrambled to grab his truck’s fire extinguisher. He sprayed Figueroa, who fled the scene.

The suspect, however, was arrested later, covered in fire extinguisher dust.

Figueroa was later charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, harassment and criminal mischief. He remained in the Lehigh County Prison over the weekend with bail set at $30,000, the Morning Call reported.

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