DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - According to startling new statistics, 2021 was the worst year on record for road rage violence in the U.S. North Texas was no exception.
The numbers showed that someone in the U.S. was injured or killed in a road rage shooting last year every 17 hours, prompting a message from the widow of one victim.
"If it could happen to my husband, it could happen to anyone." Christina Murzin wants others to learn from her husband's story and his deadly February 2021 encounter. "My last contact was actually via text, and everything seemed fine."
Chris Murzin, 53, of University Park and father of three,. Police believe it was a road rage incident.
Christina said, "It's stupid, what else can you say? Somebody's life, their family - it's way more important than any little irritation that could happen on the highway."
In 2019, an average of 22 people were killed or wounded from road rage each month across the U.S. That number rose to 34 per month in 2020, and even higher to 44 per month in 2021.
One of the most recent incidents took place in Southlake, where a couple confronted a driver of an SUV that looked similar to one that had hit them earlier. The fight that broke out involved a gun and a knife.
Officer Robert Reeves of the Irving Police Department notes that "the frustration has increased." Several Dallas County cities recently formed a road rage task force using undercover officers, hoping to catch drivers in the act.
"When you hear about someone being killed by road rage, it just brings all the memories right back," said Christina. She hopes that a now $57,000 reward will lead to the capture of her husband's killer.
Christina has an idea about why the road rage problem might seem to be getting worse. "With the pandemic, a lot of people have forgotten how to live with people and drive with people on the road and I think tempers are just hot and everyone just needs to step back and take a breath."
She said you can help families like hers by taking pictures or videos when you see road rage violence. It may be the only evidence of the crime.
The Murzin family has started a GoFundMe to catch Chris' killer.
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