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Road Rage Victim's Family Pleads For Answers

Jerry Lakes died after brain surgery failed to save him after he was struck in the head during a Jurupa Valley altercation.

The family of a disabled man who died after he was struck in the head during a Jurupa Valley road rage incident is pleading for the public’s help in locating the person who killed their family member.

They hope someone will recognize the man in a new composite sketch, who was seen attacking the victim and yelling a racial slur at him at the intersection of Skyview Drive and Avenue Juan Bautista.

"It's horrible. It's horrible. It's awful," said the victim’s sister, who asked to only be named as Marcia.

She didn’t want NBC4 to show any photos of her or her brother, 55-year-old Jerry Lakes, because she is afraid that the man who attacked her brother might also target her and her family.

"We don't know what to say, what to think,” she said. “We are just numb."

The attack happened at about 5 p.m. on Jan. 4.

Marcia said her brother was driving his black Ford Mustang down Skyview Drive, when a light colored Jeep Liberty began to tailgate him. A neighbor’s surveillance camera caught some of the incident.

"I guess he wasn't going quick enough to move out of the way,” Marcia said. “It's two lanes, one going each way."

When Lakes got to the intersection, the driver of the Liberty drove around him and blocked his Mustang.

"The guy got out of his car. And banged in the hood,” Marcia said. He also used a racial slur and said “I’m going to kill you.”

Lakes had handicap license plates because he suffered from a debilitating kidney condition. He got out of his vehicle and thats when, Marcia said, the man featured in the new composite sketch struck Lakes at least once during a scuffle.

The suspect drove off, and Jerry drove home before going to a nearby hospital, where doctors performed emergency brain surgery.

"And it was due to blunt force trauma. And he never recovered from the surgery," she said.

On Sunday investigators passed out fliers, with the hope that someone will recognize the suspect, a man believed to be in his 30s.

Residents say there is a lesson to be learned from the road rage incident: dont get out of your car.

"You should try to get the attention of law enforcement and you should drive to a safe area," said Jurupa Valley resident Eva Fox.

Lakes’ sister, Marcia, also had a message to share Monday, one for the driver of the Jeep Liberty.
"You need to turn yourself in."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951-955-2600.

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