Truck driver Craig Mason downshifted Sunday afternoon as he drove into Bondurant, where the speed limit dips.
The Idaho resident was almost done with his route when he found himself surrounded by what he thought was an unruly, outlaw motorcycle gang.
“They were riding into oncoming traffic and not getting out of the way,” Mason said. “They were making cars swerve around them and I thought they were going to hurt someone.”
That, he said, is when the bikers swerved in front of him.
“I had to hit my brakes to keep from hitting them,” Mason said.
The events that transpired caused a dozen law enforcement officers from four agencies to rush to the scene. Various calls to 911 stated the bikers were driving recklessly and waving guns at cars.
“There were some on my left side, and others were on my right-hand side,” Mason said. “One of them slapped my door, and it startled me because I thought I hit someone.”
Mason said he could hear the bikers yelling at him but he couldn’t make out what they were saying.
“Then one of them that was on an orange Harley, he got in his backpack and pulled something out of it,” Mason said. “I couldn’t tell if it was a phone or gun, and that freaked me out.”
Mason said the bikers were trying to get him to pull over.
“Two of them took off ahead of me. When I got around a corner, I saw the two and they had stopped and picked up two rocks and threw them at my truck,” Mason said. “It put a little dent in the front bumper.”
Mason said he was too scared to pull over, so he kept going and called 911.
“I was scared for my life,” he said.
Police said the incident was a classic case of road rage, and it didn’t result in any arrests or citations.
After interviewing the men on the motorcycles, Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Klief Guenther said the whole thing was a misunderstanding.
“Both parties were flipping each other off,” Guenther said. “But it wasn’t any outlaw gang. They have no gang affiliation. They let us search their property, and there were no guns.”
The group of 10 to 15 bikers was en route to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, police said.
Motorcycle traffic on Wyoming highways increases during the rally, a Wyoming Highway Patrol press release said.
The event is underway and continues until Aug. 11.
“Motorists need to be patient with the extra traffic this time of year,” Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Kyle McKay said. “Motorcyclists also need to give themselves a little bit more space between themselves and other motorists on the highway to ensure everyone is safe.”
Mason said that in his 11 years of professional driving he’s never had a negative run-in with bikers. He thinks they should have been cited for throwing rocks at his truck.
“I just hope they don’t do it to anyone else,” Mason said.
Wyoming Highway Patrol urges motorists to follow motorcycles at a greater distance. They urge motorcyclists to wear bright clothing and helmets and keep their headlights on.