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Mother accused of road rage speaks out

by Jane Flasch

Canandaigua, N.Y. -- A Canandaigua mother, accused of road rage, says she was just trying to protect her 3-year-old daughter.

"I don't want to get hit! My daughter's in the car, I'm pregnant," said Nicole House.

Investigators say two drivers were equally at fault in a road rage incident that resulted in a minor collision in the Town of Canandaigua Wednesday afternoon. Yet one of the drivers tells a different story.

"I'm still shocked and scared from it," said House.

She says she was driving her brother's car which has mechanical problems and doesn't go above 55 miles per hour. That apparently did not sit well with a tailgating driver who had to wait for several miles to pass her.

House says the car did pass her traveling eastbound on County Road 30 west of Short Road. But once in front, the other driver pumped the brakes - repeatedly. That's when she says she reacted as any mother would.

"That's all I thought of. If she hit me or slammed on her brakes I could lose my daughter and my child that I'm carrying," House said. "So I thought going around her would be the best way."

As she tried to pass, House said the other driver cut out in front of her to prevent her from doing so. That's when she struck the other car.

Undersheriff David Tillman sees it differently. "It was the action of both operators," he said.

He says both drivers admitted provoking each other with hand gestures. "It's as dangerous as it gets when you let your emotions start to dictate your activities and your ability to drive," he said.

The other driver has been identified as 29-year-old Amanda Hampton of Canandaigua. She did not respond to requests for an interview.

While road rage was a motivating factor, the women were not charged with the felony crime called Road Rage. Investigators determined the incident was relatively minor and both drivers shared culpability.

House admits she did get angry but insists it wasn't her fault. Yet the hospital bracelet, that her daughter wears, is a reminder of what could have resulted from two drivers letting things get out of hand.

"I should have pulled over and let her go and not have anything to do with it," said House. I should have left it alone like a normal person would have."

UPDATE:  13 Wham News has spoked with the other driver over the phone.  Amanda Hampton denies being the aggressor in the incident and says she used hand gesters only in response to how she was treated.  She says she stepped on the brakes to "slow down and move off the road."  Hampton said "i was not trying to hurt anyone."

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Washington Times