CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A driver died Tuesday after being stabbed by another motorist in an apparent case of road rage following a minor traffic accident, witnesses said.
The fatal attack took place about 9 a.m. in the area of Sweetwater Road and Willow Street near Chula Vista Golf Course, according to police. The two drivers had apparently been feuding on the road for at least a mile before the crash, investigators said.
“We have witness information that these vehicles were traveling while they were in some sort of a dispute,” Chula Vista police Capt. Phil Collum said. “We know that at one point a liquid was thrown from one vehicle to another.”
Tracy Ryan, who witnessed the stabbing, said everything happened very quickly after the minivan rear-ended the pickup.
“You could tell that he [the pickup driver] was really mad. And then the guy in the van — the victim — rolled down the window and the guy just started punching him while he was still seated in the van,” Ryan told FOX 5. “And then I seen the Fed Ex guy, he reached into his pocket, he grabbed a knife and he just started stabbing him right there, and the guy was still seated.”
Ryan said the wounded minivan driver, a man in his 30s, stumbled out of the vehicle and collapsed on the road.
“He fell like four times, banging his head each time, and I saw the blood everywhere,” Ryan said.
A passing motorist stopped and began giving the bleeding man CPR until paramedics arrived. They continued CPR and took the victim to a hospital where he later died. Police identified him as Horace Williams, 36, of National City.
The suspected assailant, 60-year-old Rickey Smith of San Diego, remained at the scene until police arrived. He was arrested and booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of first degree murder.
As of Wednesday, police were still trying to gather facts and discover the motive for the violence.
“I don’t know if the source of that altercation was some sort of dispute about traffic,” Collum said. “I don’t know if the two individuals know each other — don’t know whether this was a drug deal gone badly. I don’t know if it was just an argument, so I’m still hesitant to call road rage.”
Williams was a father to five daughters and was engaged.
A GoFundMe campaign is raising money to help the family with funeral costs and other expenses.