Road rage dispute in Hilton Head Plantation leads to roadside fistfight, dislocated arm

An after-midnight road rage dispute led an islander across the Hilton Head bridges and into a gated neighborhood so he could confront a couple about “their lack of driving skills,” according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. Although no charges were filed, the dispute led to a roadside fistfight, a bit of bloodshed and one dislocated arm.

The clash follows another road rage brawl that broke out in the middle of U.S. 278 in mid-June. The sheriff’s office reported at least 10 incidents fueled by road rage in a yearlong period ending in May 2023, with most involving drivers flashing weapons at other travelers.

Around midnight on July 4, a woman and her boyfriend were leaving their workplace at Island Tobacco and Vape in separate cars, traveling east on U.S. 278 toward Hilton Head Plantation. An unknown vehicle began tailgating the woman’s car and break-checking her boyfriend’s car, eventually following them to their destination in the gated community, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.

When they arrived, the male inside the vehicle “began to scream at her and her boyfriend about driving correctly,” the report says. He then parked outside their driveway, stepped out of his vehicle and pushed the woman’s boyfriend to the ground. The boyfriend admitted to police that he “threw several punches” in self-defense as the man got on top of him.

The woman then approached the agitated motorist, who had returned to his vehicle in the street. She told him to leave while trying to record the interaction on her cellphone, but the man “knocked (her) phone out of her hand,” according to the report.

As the woman bent down to grab her phone, the man thought she was trying to get into his car, he told police, so he kicked the car door closed. The moving door knocked her into the vehicle and onto the ground, dislocating her arm. She was later taken to the hospital by EMS crews.

A Beaufort County deputy who responded to the scene noted the woman’s boyfriend was applying ice to cuts on his knuckles, while the other man’s face was covered in blood and “already swelling.”

All three people chose not to pursue criminal charges, telling police “they had all learned their lesson,” according to the report.

Public records show the driver who followed the couple was also a resident of Hilton Head Plantation, explaining how he was able to access the gated community.

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