Three hours later, Danny Termin still was shaken, the vision of a man pulling beside him and pointing a gun difficult to forget.
Termin, 50, of Bellwood, Blair County, was driving a truck south on McKnight Road near Nelson Road in Ross on Wednesday afternoon when Raymond Silak, 26, of Richland, pointed the loaded weapon at him, police said.
Termin responded by turning his car carrier into Silak's pickup truck and smashing it against a concrete median, pinning Silak inside.
Termin then fled his rig, running downhill on McKnight Road. He called 911 and waited for police.
Termin said he was driving in the right lane when he came upon a backhoe traveling about 10 mph. He turned into the left lane in front of a pickup truck, passed the backhoe and returned to the right lane, he said.
The next thing he knew, a man in the pickup pulled beside him and made an obscene gesture, he said.
"He pulled up next to my cab and gave me the finger -- which happens -- so I smiled and waved at him," Termin said.
According to police, Silak then pulled his gun.
"He was there, and racks (a bullet) into the chamber," Termin said. "I decided, 'No, if we're going to have an altercation, the only thing I have to fight with is this truck, and here it is.'
"That's when I rammed him into the Jersey barrier. I think it was just more a reaction. There wasn't time to think."
Neither driver was hurt.
Police charged Silak with recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and terroristic threats.
"Luckily, no shots were fired," Ross Detective William Barrett said. "Was (Silak) going to shoot him or make threatening gestures? The truck driver was not taking any chances."
Termin was not charged. But he said it will take some time before he forgets what happened.
"I pulled a muscle running down that hill," he said, managing a laugh, as he drove home. "I haven't run that fast since I was in high school football. My kids are going to jive me all night."
Proud THR plank-owner
I wonder if this Silak fellow will try that with an 18-wheeler next time. The results would likely be spectacular, and leading quickly to the premature (but unmourned) demise of Mr. Silak. Oh well, the gene pool does need clensing once in a while.