YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) — A Youngstown couple is going public with cell phone video they took of what they say is a road rage incident by the driver of a church van.
The couple, who did not want their last name used, said they were nearly run off the road, and then the driver got out, leaving the van full of children in the street.
Ashley and her husband still get tense when they talk about what happened on the West Side bridge last week.
“I kind of was in disbelief more than anything,” Ashley said.
They said they were sitting at a stoplight on Belle Vista Road about to go when the driver behind them got impatient and passed on the double yellow lines, nearly forcing them onto the bridge’s sidewalk.
“This was a rainy day. With that kind of driving, he could have crashed us. Anybody,” Ashley said.
What shocked Ashley the most though, was that it was a church van. In her video, you can see children in the back.
She was worried about their safety, so she used her phone to take a video of the writing on the side of the van. That is when Ashley said things got scary.
At another stoplight, the driver gets out of the van, leaving his passengers behind, and comes up to Ashley’s window.
“You got a good picture?,” the driver said.
When Ashley said yes, the driver can be heard saying “It’s your fault because you stopped in the middle of the road.”
Here is the exchange that followed:
“We were going through a green light,” Ashley said.
“I don’t care,” the van driver said.
“You’re driving church people. Shame on you,” Ashley said.
“You’re not in Mexico, you’re in America,” the van driver said.
Ashley said the driver was so angry she was actually afraid.
“I was thankful my window was up and my door was locked,” she said.
And again, Ashley worried about the kids.
“I was really concerned that when he left them that maybe somebody not paying attention would hit them. You know, anything could have happened,” she said.
Ashley said she called the church whose name was on the van, Elizabeth Missionary Baptist on Himrod Avenue, but instead of an apology, she said they told her not to call back.
The pastor told reporter Lauren Wood that he planned to speak with the driver today, but that otherwise it was a private matter and he had no comment.
Ashley said she talked to us for the sake of children and parents.
“Pay attention to who they let their kids ride with and who they leave in charge of their kids,” Ashley said.