By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4) – A drive to a friend’s house Monday evening took an unfriendly turn for a Denver woman.
It began on Quebec Street near 6th Avenue around 6:30 p.m. Michele Lawonn said she was in the left, northbound lane approaching 8th Avenue where two lanes merge into one. That’s when, she says, a driver in the right lane tried to force her into oncoming traffic.
“People apparently don’t understand that merge means that you yield to the cars already in the left lane and you go behind them,” Lawonn said. “I thought she was a little crazy when she rolled down her window and was just yelling at me.”
Ignoring the other driver, Lawonn managed to stay in her lane. Yet when she reached the red light at 11th Avenue, she said the aggressive driver parked in the turn lane next to her. What happened next was the last thing Lawonn ever expected.
“She got out of her car. She had a baseball bat. She smashed my window and then she smashed my car again,” Lawonn explained. “I was freaked. I was absolutely freaked. I later thought, ‘Thank God she didn’t have a gun.’”
The woman took off before police arrived, leaving Lawonn with a battered car and baffled mind.
“What’s happening to people in Denver? They’re turning insane,” Lawonn said.
Shaking with fear, Lawonn said she wasn’t able to grab her cell phone in time to take a picture. Yet, she remembered part of the vehicle’s license plate and gave police a description of the driver.
Lawonn said the woman is possibly Hispanic, in her 30s, about 5’5 or 5’6, 135 lbs. with brown hair and brown eyes. She was driving a gray, four-door sedan with Colorado plates beginning with 332.
Denver police are investigating the alleged road rage. Lawonn said investigators are confident they can get surveillance video from nearby business that may help track down the driver.
More than just capturing the driver who attacked her, Lawonn is also hopeful the city will install new signs near Quebec and 8th as well as other similar roads.
“I think Denver can fix a lot of areas because there are a lot of roads with two lanes that go into one,” she said. “Just change the signage. Something like, ‘Lane Ends, Yield to Left Lane Traffic.’”
Lawonn has reached out to the City of Denver asking for updated signs.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.