FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Two men face attempted murder charges for allegedly firing into each other's vehicles on a busy Florida highway and wounding each other's daughters, who were passengers in their back seats.
William Hale, of Douglasville, Georgia, and Frank Allison, of Callahan, Florida, were charged last week with attempted second-degree murder in the Oct. 8 confrontation on U.S. Highway 1 in Nassau County, which is in the Florida's northeasternmost corner.
“Sometimes we see people acting stupid and doing dumb things out on the highway,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said during a news conference last week. “They sometimes let their emotions get the best of them, and they don’t really think about the consequences of their actions or what could happen as the results of their stupidity.”
A witness told deputies that both vehicles were being driven so erratically and engaging in a “cat and mouse" chase that he called the authorities out of concern, according to an incident report.
Hale, driving a truck with relatives as passengers, told deputies that he and Allison were “brake checking," or braking in front of each other repeatedly, during the confrontation. He said at some point, he heard a “pow" at his back door, so he grabbed a gun he kept in his center console and fired out of the driver's window, according to the incident report.
“It was an instant reaction," Hale said, noting that he fired “everything that was in the clip," deputies reported.
Allison told deputies that he fired his gun at the truck's bed or tire after a water bottle was thrown into his car. Before the water bottle was thrown, his wife had been “flicking them off," he said.
“Mr. Allison said his goal of firing the shot was to ‘get out of the whole situation,'" the deputies reported.
Hale's 5-year-old daughter suffered a wound to her upper calf, while Allison's 14-year-old daughter suffered a collapsed lung, according to the report.
"Thankfully, no one was killed in this incident, but it could have very easily turned out that way," Leeper said. “There could have been two dead kids because of two stupid grown men.”
There was no attorney listed for Hale in an online docket. Phyllis Wiley, who is listed as Allison's attorney on the docket, said in an email Monday that her representation was under review and that she couldn't comment.