Arizona road rage incidents reaching near-record levels in 2021

Road rage incidents are reaching near-record levels in Arizona.

There have been 455 reports, so far this year, closing in on 520 reports, which set the record in 2019.

Within the last few days. there were three serious road rage incidents reported in Phoenix, Peoria and Glendale.

Recent road rage incidents in the Valley

In the Phoenix incident near 43rd and Peoria avenues, a man was seriously injured as a bullet pierced through his car, narrowly missing his girlfriend and their child, while he was on his way to work.

Officers responded to the scene just before 10 a.m. and learned that the drivers of a sedan and SUV got into an argument at a red light over a traffic dispute. The driver of a sedan opened fire on a driver of an SUV, that vehicle then drove through a walkway, hitting a wall.

The driver of the SUV, identified by loved ones as Jesus Marquez, was hospitalized with serious injuries. The suspect, as of Sunday afternoon, is still missing after fleeing the scene.

His girlfriend, Lynda Hamilton, said Marquez underwent surgery after a bullet was lodged between his skull and skin.

"It went through the back window between me and my son and hit him in the head as he was driving and he crashed," she said in an interview a day after the shooting.

Days later, she's more hopeful of his diagnosis.

"They did get the bullet out of his head. He's walking, talking, he's using the restroom," she said on Oct. 23.

Hamilton said she sees incidents like this happen on social media, to other people. She never thought it would happen to her family.

"The best thing people can do is to deescalate. The thing is, you're better off getting off the next exit, you're better off getting to the righthand side," she warned other drivers. "Better off breaking off the incident that continues that could escalate into something else."

The fact Marquez is recovering and has no memory loss, Hamilton says is a miracle.

"It's not worth totalling your car. It's not worth your family's life and you never know what kind of crazy person there really is out there," she said.

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