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Local News

‘Road Rage’ on Highway 101 Leads to Crash, 2 Arrests

Two men were arrested Tuesday after a "road rage" incident escalated into a collision on Highway 101 in Carpinteria, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The conflict began about 1 p.m. with one pickup truck following too closely behind another on the southbound freeway in the Montecito area, said Officer Jonathan Gutierrez.

The trailing driver became upset that the pickup in front would not move out of the way, Gutierrez said.

"What began as verbal banter between the two escalated as the vehicles neared Santa Claus Lane," Gutierrez said, "when one of the drivers, Ryan Luna of Simi Valley, threw a 'super sized' soda into the passenger window of the other truck, striking the truck's passenger in the face and causing soda to be spread throughout the front of the truck."

Moments later, the other driver, Joseph G. Antonucci of Santa Barbara, allegedly retaliated by crashing the right side of his truck into the left side of Luna's truck, Gutierrez said.

Luna, 25, swerved off the freeway at Carpinteria Avenue, while Antonucci, 56, continued southbound.

Another motorists called 911 to report the incident, which also was witnessed by CHP Coastal Division Chief Reggie Chappelle, who was driving an unmarked patrol car, Gutierrez said.

Chappelle stopped Antonucci's vehicle near Mussel Shoals along the Rincon after following it through the freeway construction zone.

After investigation, both men were arrested.

Antonucci was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and a vehicle-code violation, with bail set at $30,000.

Luna was charged with battery and a vehicle-code violation, with bail set at $5,000.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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