LEHI, Utah — The victims of a road rage shooting on I-15 last month in Lehi are seeking damages of at least $25 million in a lawsuit filed against the suspect.
The Kramer Law Group filed the civil complaint against Jesse David Luker, 31, on behalf of their clients, George Acosta Ruiz, Edgar Escamilla, Paul Bernardino, Eduardo and Jose Antonio Vazquez.
Luker is accused of shooting at a white pickup truck while driving southbound on I-15 on Jan. 25. Witnesses told police Luker and the driver of the pickup truck, Escamilla, had been swerving aggressively at each other before Luker opened fire.
The truck driven by Escamilla and carrying the other plaintiffs crashed into a barrier on the highway.
Ruiz and Escamilla were taken to the hospital and underwent surgery after being hit by gunfire, while Bernardino was allegedly grazed by a bullet.
Luker was charged with five third-degree felony counts of aggravated assault, as well as a misdemeanor count of discharge of a firearm from a vehicle and a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment.
The group's lawyers claim Luker was driving solo in the express lane and attempted to "push" the group out of the lane while they drove the legal limit. In a post to the law firm's blog, it's never mentioned whether Escamilla responded to Luker's contentious driving other than attempting to escape the situation.
In filing the lawsuit, the attorneys hope to send a message to the growing number of drivers who engage in road rage incidents in Utah.
“We filed this civil lawsuit to loudly declare that conduct like this is unacceptable. We live in a society of laws and there is no place in it for wild west gun slinging on the interstate,” said attorney Ron Kramer. “We are seeking a very large verdict of at least $25 million and we expect a major portion of the verdict to be apportioned to punitive damages to punish and deter Luker and others like him from engaging in similar conduct.”