Chattanooga Doctor Was In Apparent Road Rage Incident Prior To Fatal Frazier Avenue Wreck

  • Wednesday, January 10, 2024

It was testified on Wednesday afternoon that a Chattanooga physician was involved in an apparent road rage incident with the driver of a vehicle that killed two pedestrians and severely injured another on Frazier Avenue on Nov. 25.

Police said Dr. Patrick McGinty, an internal medical specialist, has not been charged, but the investigation is continuing.

At a preliminary hearing for Randy Vega, the driver of the vehicle that hit the pedestrians, defense attorney Mike Little said Dr. McGinty should have been charged for "reckless" behavior.

He said it appeared on video that Dr. McGinty's Nissan Titan was locked with Vega's Dodge Caravan and that Vega put on brakes while Dr. McGinty did not.

Analysis of video from nearby buildings had the two vehicles traveling at 55-59 mph in the 30 mph zone where an officer said there were "hundreds of people on the sidewalks."

Killed while standing in front of a shop at 201 Frazier Avenue were 41-year-old Ana Posso Rodriguez and her 22-month-old son, Jonathan Devia. Octavio Devia Paz, the 40-year-old husband and father to the two victims, was severely injured. He was in a lengthy coma and remains hospitalized.

Judge Larry Ables bound charges, including two counts of vehicular homicide, to the Grand Jury against Vega, a 44-year-old Tampa, Fla., man. The victims are also from Florida and were on a holiday to Chattanooga and were planning to go on to the Smokies.

Traffic Investigator Adam Cavitt said Dr. McGinty gave a statement at the scene and also sat down with his attorney and police several days later.

He said the McGinty and Vega vehicles first came together on nearby Cherokee Boulevard when the Vega vehicle slowly pulled in front of the Nissan Titan. It appeared that Vega was unsure where he was going, it was stated. He ran a stop sign prior to getting to Cherokee Boulevard, it was stated.

Attorney Little said Dr. McGinty made a statement that he was "pissed off" by Vega pulling in front of him.

Investigator Cavitt said several videos were obtained, with one showing interaction between the two vehicles on Cherokee Boulevard. A video from a Masonic Lodge near the wreck scene showed the two vehicles entangled, then the Vega vehicle darting over to the corner of Frazier and Forest Avenue and eventually striking the shop.

The investigator said the Masonic video showed the Vega vehicle's tires out of his lane as if he was doing "a PIT maneuver" on the Titan just prior to the pedestrians being hit. He said a PIT maneuver is when a police vehicle takes out another vehicle by putting it in a spin.

An officer who visited Vega at the hospital said he exhibited several signs of impairment, including an odor consistent with alcohol ingredients, glassy eyes and jumping from one topic to another.

He said he had Vega's blood drawn less than four hours after the 3:30 p.m. crash and it tested at the drunk level of .08. It was testified that a hospital blood draw taken earlier tested at 1.3 - much higher than the drunk level.

The officer said Vega told him he had gone to REI looking for socks.

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