2 charged after shots fired in road rage incident

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A Drexel man and Forest City truck driver were charged following a mid-April traffic incident involving shots fired at the latter’s big-rig, authorities said Friday.

Capt. Shanon Smith of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged Kent Leroy Banks, 58, address listed as Drexel, with discharging a firearm in an enclosed area and Ralph Daniel Thompson, 56, address listed as Forest City, with disorderly conduct.

The charges stem from a road-rage incident involving gunfire that occurred on Monday afternoon, April 15 at the Interstate 40 Exit 86 off-ramp in McDowell.

Banks was driving a Honda sedan, and Thompson was operating a tractor-trailer on I-40 at approximately noon. One driver cut another off, and there was some exchange of hand gestures. Both took the Exit 86 off ramp, and, at the light, Thompson approached Banks’ automobile.

After Thompson moved back to his rig, Banks fired shots at the truck, hitting it in the front. Thompson was not injured.

Photos and bonds of Banks and Thompson are not available.

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