Motorists Accuse Trucker of Racism in Road Rage Battle, Trucker Tells a Different Story
Miami Gardens, FL – A Florida couple alleges they were victims a hate crime following a road rage shooting incident that involved a truck driver over the weekend.
According to the arrest affidavit, the incident took place on July 5 around 1:40 p.m. on Interstate 95 near the Florida Turnpike extension in Miami Gardens.
Trucker Randall Vaughters, 67, from Georgia, was driving northbound when he encountered 26-year-old Ardwens Estivene and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Danielle Baker, both of Florida, traveling in the same direction.
According to Estivene, Vaughters “sped up” toward’s the couple’s Nissan Altima and “tried to hit” his car, and that’s when Estivene instructed his girlfriend to film on her cell phone.
Local news outlets WPLG and WSVN both ran clips from the incident in its newscasts (see video below), which show a maroon Kenworth driving behind the couple before attempting to pass them on the left.
The semi-truck’s logo on the passenger side door is clearly visible in the video, showing Gainsville, GA-based OverDrive Transport, Inc.
A single gunshot is then heard, with Baker screaming in the background.
Authorities were called to the scene and Vaughters was arrested without incident on Sunday afternoon.
He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of discharging a firearm in public.
Monday morning, he appeared before Judge Mindy Glazer, who called the charges “serious.”
“Trust me, there will be no firearms in my vehicle,” Vaughters told the court.
Judge Glazer set his bond at $8,500, which Vaughters posted later that evening.
“[Vaughters] chose to hunt us down,” Estivene alleged in an an interview with WPLG’s Christian De La Rosa on Monday.
De La Rosa also spoke with Vaughters on Monday night after he bonded out of jail.
Wearing an OverDrive Transport hat, a remorseful Vaughters claimed the Nissan’s driver is the one who escalated the situation by showing aggression while on the interstate.
“I regret that it happened,” Vaughters told De La Rosa. “It shouldn’t have happened, but that other guy (Estivene), he’s not as innocent as he says he is.”
“He’s the one that started this, whipping over in front of me, brake-checking, shooting me birds,” Vaughters continued.
Estivene and Baker, however, claim it was racially motivated.
“This man felt like he had every right to try to take our lives,” Estivene said in a separate interview with WSVN. “All he seen was black.”
“Since we’re in this situation, a Caucasian male, you’re not going to think, ‘Oh, he has a gun,’ but when you see two (African-Americans), ‘Wait a minute, what they have in the car? What they got?'” Baker said to De La Rosa. (See Baker’s statements in the video below.)
Vaughters dismisses that race had anything to do with it, telling De La Rosa he is not racist, and calling the incident a case of “road rage.”
Even still, Vaughters has a message for others — especially truckers — who find themselves in similar situations.
“If you get in a road rage incident, just back off, pull to the side, which I tried to do, but this dude would not let up. He kept on and on and on, but me being in a semi, I’m at fault,” he lamented.
Despite Estivene and Baker’s assertions the incident was racially motivated, Vaughters was not charged with a hate crime.
OverDrive Transport told WSVN they are “looking into the matter,” and are cooperating with investigators.