Slowed by Traffic, Driver Wielding Bat Strikes Out


A woman apparently frustrated by slow traffic on Santiago Canyon Road, at the same spot where a driver died Wednesday in another traffic dispute, took out a baseball bat and began swinging at a truck Thursday when she couldn't pass, authorities said.

Then she hurled an aerosol can at the driver's door.

The California Highway Patrol officer who chased the driver, 26-year-old Lisa Lind of Lake Forest, noticed that her license plate read "PEACE 95" and asked her about it.

"She told me she got it because she thought there was so much violence going on in today's society," Officer Peros Doumas said.

Lind had been tailgating the truck as they headed south toward Irvine Lake about 5 p.m., Doumas said.

"She must have been two or three feet away from his bumper," Doumas said. "Then she tried to pass him." But there was another car in her way and she couldn't, Doumas said.

"She almost ran into that car before cutting back toward the pickup truck. That's when she hung an aluminum baseball bat outside her window and started swinging at his truck. But the wind was blowing and she didn't hit his truck.

"She did hit her car, causing a minor dent on the roof."

When the road merged from two lanes to one, Lind got behind the truck, still swinging her baseball bat in the air, authorities said.

About a quarter mile later, she "straddled the double yellow line" and passed the truck on the left side, which could have caused a head-on collision, Doumas said.

"As she passed him, she threw a can of air freshener at the left door of his truck," Doumas said. "She had her right front window down."

The 27-year-old truck driver, Michael F. Morris of Lake Forest, was forced onto the dirt shoulder, investigators said. Morris and another driver who witnessed the incident notified Doumas, who was in the area on another call.

"I chased her down and made a traffic stop," Doumas said. "She said she was in a hurry and was getting frustrated."

In a search of her car, Doumas said, he found a traffic ticket dated Sept. 27, on which the issuing officer noted that Lind almost had sideswiped his motorcycle.

Doumas arrested her on suspicion of reckless driving and brandishing a baseball bat, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, and having a concealed weapon, a pen knife, in her purse. She was being held at Orange County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

CHP Officer Paul Golonski said, "We want to tell this story in hopes that it might get people to chill out a little bit.

"This is part of a roadway that is heavily used as a short cut and a lot of people get frustrated. There's not a lot of turnoffs. But they need to know that the frustrations can result in tragedies, as what happened" Wednesday.

David Keeton, 29, died from head injuries after his car spun out of control and plunged down a 30-feet embankment in that area about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, a CHP spokeswoman said.

The California Highway Patrol said Keeton apparently had refused to let the driver behind him pass and had cut her off whenever she changed lanes.

The left front of her car struck the right rear of Keeton's car, causing Keeton's vehicle to spin into a truck.

The collision sent Keeton's car down the embankment, where he died instantly. The driver of the truck suffered severe injuries.

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