Sara Mutschlechner was killed by a U.S. Marine during a road rage incident, read most major news headlines when in fact Sara Mutschlechner was killed by a black guy who had previously been at the same party that Sara had attended. One has to wonder why the majority of news headlines are using the word “U.S. Marine” and “road rage” when reporting about a white girl’s brutal death.
The U.S. Marine arrested on Tuesday in the shooting of Sara Mutschlechner has been identified as Eric Jamal Johnson, according to a Dallas Morning News report on January 5. According to police, Johnson was apprehended by U.S. Marshalls following leads provided by social media and surveillance video.
Johnson had been at the same New Year’s Eve party that Sara had attended, showed social media postings. Two members of the Daytona Boyz, the group that was performing at the party, were in the SUV that was involved in the shooting.
“Johnson, whose street name is ‘Santana Sage’, was also at the party. He left at around the same time with two of the Dayonta Boyz – known as Tay-K and F***PimpyZ – and two other African American males in a black SUV,” writes the Daily Mail.
Both Johnson’s and Sara’s vehicles were driving through Denton when Johnson’s black SUV pulled up alongside Sara’s sedan:
“Members of Johnson’s group started shouting that they wanted to ‘f***’ the two girls in the car. One of Sara’s two male friends hit back that the comments were inappropriate. One of the men in the SUV told him he would ‘beat his ass’ and another said, ‘I’ll shoot your ass’, and ‘displayed a handgun’.”
According to authorities, Sara’s passengers did not respond with any derogatory comments to Johnson’s group but drove off. But when Sara’s car had to stop at a red light at the intersection at West University Drive, shots were fired and Sara was hit in the head.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “aggressive driving” involves dangerous on-the-road behaviors and “Road Rage” is defined as the continuum of that aggressive driving, escalating to angry gestures, yelling at another motorist, confrontation, physical assault, and even murder. “’Road Rage’ is the label that emerged to describe the angry and violent behaviors at the extreme of the aggressive driving continuum,” writes the NHTSA.
Sara was a responsible driver and the designated driver on New Year’s Day and there is no indication that there was any kind of aggressive driving involved in the encounter between her and Johnson. The NHTSA is warning that the word “road rage” is being used because it makes better headlines, but it distracts from what has actually happened. Reading today’s news headlines that Sara Mutschlechner was killed by a U.S. Marine during a road rage incident appears to be misrepresenting of what had actually happened.