AUSTIN, Texas - The search continues for the person who shot a woman to death in an alleged road rage incident. Austin police say they receive reports of road rage on a weekly basis.
On Sept. 30, Austin police responded to a one car crash on the SB service road of North I-35. However, the crash quickly escalated to a murder investigation when police discovered a woman inside the vehicle with a gunshot wound.
"The injuries were not consistent with the crash, so homicide was called out," Sgt. Demetri Hobbs with APD told reporters Saturday.
The woman has since been identified as 46-year-old Teressa Gandy Ferguson. Detectives believe this was the result of road rage.
"This is my second road rage homicide of this year that I've personally worked on. Over at aggravated assault, they have a few cases that come in, I think, even weekly with road rage incidents, so I think we all just need to be a little more courteous as we're driving," said Det. Israel Pina with APD.
FOX 7 Austin sat down with AAA spokesperson Daniel Armbruster about the increase in road rage cases in Texas.
"Really what road rage is, is just aggressive driving, taking, taken to an extreme level," he said.
He says state data reveals road rage crashes have spiked over the last 10 years. In 2012, he says there were 960 road rage crashes reported in Texas. In 2021, he says that number almost doubled to 1,661.
"We saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, those incidents at least reported more. Certainly, that is concerning. It's also concerning that it doesn't seem to have slowed down since the pandemic is now behind us," said Armbruster.
Armbruster says this spike is not just the result of the pandemic alone and says aggressive driving has always been an issue. This was backed by AAA’s own study that found nearly 80-percent of drivers expressed road rage behind the wheel at least once in the previous 30 days.
"We say don't respond, don't offend, and just be tolerant and forgiving," he said.
Police are still looking for the person who shot Fergeson.
Anyone with any information should contact the Austin Police Department at 512-974-TIPS. You may submit your tip anonymously through the Capital Area Crime Stoppers Program by visiting austincrimestoppers.org or calling 512-472-8477. A reward of up to $1,000 may be available for any information that leads to an arrest.