When a Roadside Argument Becomes a Legal Argument

A DuPage County criminal case was filed after a road rage incident led to the death of a Lombard man in June, 2012. A loving grandfather of 12 grandchildren and a Vietnam veteran, 63-year old Gerald Puglise was eastbound on Ogden Avenue on his 2005 Triumph Rocket III motorcycle on June 13, 2012. Approaching the intersection at River Road, Mr. Puglise had the right of way and proceeded through the intersection.

Unknown to Mr. Puglise, 31-year old Plainfield resident Michael Moreno was also quickly approaching the same intersection. Mr. Moreno had allegedly used cocaine and marijuana earlier in the afternoon before becoming embroiled in a road rage incident with a teenage girl.

In what prosecutors describe as a fog of rage Mr. Moreno, driving a silver 2006 Infiniti M45, was chasing a Honda driven by a 16-year-old girl. In pursuit of the teen, Mr. Moreno made an abrupt turn in front of Mr. Puglise in the intersection. Trying to avoid collision, Mr. Puglise laid down his bike but was struck in the head by the rear wheel of the car driven by Mr. Moreno, killing him almost instantly. Hesitating only seconds, Mr. Moreno left the scene of the accident, still pursuing the teen driver.

With a record of driving violations, Mr. Moreno faces felony and misdemeanor charges in the case. A ruling is expected in late March. When arrested, Mr. Moreno claimed the teen girl initiated a roadside argument and threatened him. Witness accounts did not support his view, instead painting Mr. Moreno as initiating the argument, the pursuit and later, the reckless, tragic death of someone not even a party to the argument, Mr. Puglise.

If you are injured, or suffer the wrongful death of a loved one through the negligent or reckless actions of another, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your right to justice and compensation for your loss.