KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Jack and Spike on the Everett road rage incident: ‘One day, a switch goes off’

May 18, 2024, 4:10 PM | Updated: 4:22 pm

Interstate 5 (I-5) north in Everett was completely closed for about eight hours Thursday after a road rage incident led to an officer-involved shooting.

The Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART) said in a statement that just after 4 p.m. Thursday, Washington State Patrol (WSP) responded to a report of a major incident on the shoulder of I-5 north near milepost 197.

More on the Snohomish County incident: I-5 north in Everett reopens after officer-involved shooting left suspect dead

The suspect began ramming his vehicle into a Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) vehicle and a lift that was on the shoulder of I-5 with two employees onboard, the statement reads.

From there, “an altercation” ensued between the suspect — who was armed with a hammer — WSDOT employees and a WSP trooper, SMART reported. During the incident, the WSP trooper shot the suspect. Members of law enforcement rendered aid to the suspect. But he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jack and Spike respond to the Everett road rage incident

Jack Stine and Spike O’Neill, hosts of “The Jack and Spike Show” on KIRO Newsradio, were both affected by the tragic incident and spoke about it during Friday’s show.

“I was incredibly heartbroken,” Jack said. “It affected me so deeply so I’m sitting in my very expensive apartment surrounded by my very expensive things and I’m thinking to myself, ‘What causes somebody to do this?’ and I was really trying to think about what causes somebody to go just one day they just or something happens and there’re just a switch goes off and then they tip over?”

Jack went on to say the incident in Everett made him think about the 1993 movie “Falling Down,” which stars Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall. As the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) description astutely states, the film is about “An ordinary man frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.”

“Basically … the argument that I’m making is that all of the little things will contribute to one big thing,” Jack said.

“Are the people who are the most susceptible to cracking, is there not enough societal pressure … to push that person over the edge is what I’m saying,” Jack went on to say later. “We get all this bad news and all this terrible stuff all the time and we see nothing but the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer and I’m sitting on northbound I-5 and what do I see? A couple of no good government workers that’s causing traffic and finally you have the power and you say to yourself ‘I’m going to do something about this right right now.'”

“I think you’re spot on about this,” Spike said in response. “They say we’re one major expense away from going under and most of Americas can’t afford a $400 emergency in their life. We’re all so pushed to the edge and, you’re right, every factor of our life, it seems, these days tells us how bad things are tells us how much danger we’re in tells us how much how close we are to just losing it all …”

Later in the segment, Jack noted that he doesn’t think this is a matter of politics or geography. Instead, it is uniquely American and everyone in the U.S. deals with constant pressure.

“I think this is an American culture thing where we are all under a pressure cooker all of the time. I read about it every day all of the bad awful news that’s happening around the world. That wears on people. It drags people down,” Jack said.

And that was just part of the conversation. Click on the video above to watch more, including Jack’s point about checking in with people, and make sure you subscribe to our Jack & Spike Show YouTube channel.

Editors’ note: This item originally was published on Friday, May 17. It has been updated and republished since then.

Contributing: Laura Scott and Ben Huffman, KIRO Newsradio

Listen to “The Jack and Spike Show” weekdays from noon-3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here. To check out the “Jack and Spike” homepage, head here.

KIRO Newsradio Opinion

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Jack and Spike on the Everett road rage incident: ‘One day, a switch goes off’