A 35-year-old man is dead, and another has been charged with manslaughter after an apparent road rage incident in Calgary's Northeast earlier this week. 

The deceased, now identified as David Mervin Berglun, died after sustaining fatal injuries when he was struck and pushed into a nearby tree during an escalated confrontation.

Police said they were notified of the incident on Tuesday afternoon when they received a call from a passenger who told them they were involved in an ongoing road rage incident.

"[The] passenger was riding in a red 2004 Chevrolet Aveo. At the time, a 2002 GMC Sierra was reported to be driving erratic and swerving in and out of traffic, and it is alleged the driver flashed a knife towards the occupants of the Chevrolet Aveo," police stated.

9-1-1 advised the passengers of the Chevrolet to disengage with the driver of the GMC Sierra, but they continued to follow the vehicle. The altercation continued to escalate, with the driver GMC Sierra pulling over and getting out of his car.

"A short time later, the Chevrolet Aveo drove past the driver of the GMC Sierra, and it is believed he kicked the passenger side of the vehicle. The Chevrolet Aveo then stopped and reversed into the driver of the GMC Sierra, who was then struck and pushed into a nearby tree. As a result, the driver of the GMC Sierra sustained fatal injuries and was declared deceased at the scene."

Both the driver and the passenger were immediately taken into custody. 34-year-old Steven Allen of Calgary has since been charged and will appear in court in early February. 

The incident comes days after Alberta Mounties issued a warning to motorists about the dangers of dangerous driving, including road rage.

"Road rage and aggressive driving can result in real and permanent consequences. Everything from injuries, and a criminal record, to insurance premium increases, financial penalties, and jail time – all things that can impact your family, employment, ability to travel, and personal life in significant ways," Mounties stated.

RCMP statistics show that since the beginning of 2023, Mounties have received over 500 reports of dangerous driving, three of those causing death.

In 2022, there were two major road rage incidents in Airdrie. One incident saw the driver of a pick-up truck being charged with one count of Dangerous Operation of a Conveyance after the pick-up truck and a semi-truck collided, causing the semi to become jack-knifed. In another troubling incident, a driver who deployed pepper spray in an incident of road rage ended up contaminating bystanders.

RCMP Traffic Services Sgt. Dan Mayowski stressed that aggressive driving can catch up to motorists.

"We really want people to think about that during their commutes or trips up the highway. If you find yourself getting agitated while driving, it’s time to take a breath, pull over and grab a coffee, or find an appropriate and safe way to disengage the source of your frustration” 

If you are involved in or witness an incident of aggressive driving, remember the following:

  • Take a route that avoids further engagement with the other driver;
  • When safe, call 911 and report the details of the incident to police;
  • Drive within the speed limit follow the rules of the road; and
  • Be prepared to provide the vehicle colour, make, model, license plate number and a description of the driver to police.

Calgary Police are continuing to investigate the latest incident, asking that anyone with information about it, including if the public has has dashcam or CCTV footage; they are asked to contact police by calling 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

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