Motorist Says He Shot Trucker For Trying to Run Him Off The Road
Hazle Township, PA – A motorist was arrested and charged with serious crimes after he admitted to shooting a trucker along I-81 last week during a road rage incident.
According to authorities, the altercation took place last Thursday along northbound I-81 just before 5 p.m. near mile marker 149.
Investigators say motorist Kenneth Kuras, 56, of Wilkes-Barre was driving a 2004 Jeep Cherokee in the left lane when he began tailgating a 2008 Peterbilt driven by James Leiphart, 26, of Warrior Run.
Kuras was traveling approximately 68 mph and began flashing his headlights in an effort to get Leiphart to pull into the right lane.
According to a criminal complaint, Leiphart told authorities Kuras attempted to pass the big rig along the left shoulder multiple times.
Leiphart’s brother, Jason Jon Leiphart, was driving his personal vehicle and operating behind Kuras in the left lane.
According to police, Kuras indicated he deduced the two vehicles were traveling together and grew frustrated because he felt as though he was being boxed in.
However, according to court documents, James Leiphart maintained that it was Kuras who was creating a dangerous situation by swerving and following too closely.
Leiphart told troopers that after he pulled into the right lane, that’s when Kuras pulled up alongside the driver’s side and fired one round from a 9mm handgun.
The bullet struck Leiphart in the ankle.
Leiphart and his brother were able to safely exit the interstate.
Kuras pulled into the median and called to alert authorities of the incident.
According to the criminal complaint, Kuras said it was Leiphart who tried to run him off the road.
Futher, he claimed he did not intend to seriously harm Leiphart.
“I fired low, I wasn’t trying to kill him or anything,” Kuras allegedly told police.
Leiphart was treated at a nearby hospital and later released.
Kuras has been charged with two counts each of aggravated assault and terroristic threats, a single count of recklessly endangering another person and several traffic violations.
He is being held without bail at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.
A hearing in the case is scheduled for November 27th.
If convicted on all charges, Kuras faces up to 20 years in prison.