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Road rage driver who shot another vehicle sentenced to 4 years

Vaughn Atkins. Photo from DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

(WHEATON) A man who shot at another driver during a road rage-fueled confrontation on I-355 in March was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday.

Vaughn Atkins, 42, pleaded guilty to one felony count of aggravated discharge of a firearm at a hearing before Judge Kathryn Creswell, who handed down the four-year sentence, the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office said.

Another southbound motorist cut Atkins off during the evening rush hour on March 21, forcing him onto the shoulder of I-355 near Ogden Avenue, prosecutors said. Soon after, Atkins pulled alongside the other motorist, pointed a handgun and fired, hitting the rear door on the driver’s side, the statement said.

Atkins exited the tollway and sped away, prosecutors claim. No one was hurt. He was arrested three days later at his home in the 1400 block of South Blackhawk Circle in South Elgin, the statement said.

“Simply put, when Mr. Atkins decided to open fire on a fellow motorist after being cut off, he let his road rage get the best of him,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a prepared statement. “By shooting at the driver of another vehicle during rush hour traffic on a major expressway, Mr. Atkins put many motorists and passengers in grave danger.”

Atkins will be required to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, the state’s attorney’s office said.