Driver Caught in Marine's Road Rage Speaks to Inside Edition
We're now hearing exclusively from the driver who somehow stayed cool, calm, and collected during that notorious Marine road rage meltdown the whole country is talking about.
The driver's name is Michael McCurdy-Quintana and he's just 19 years old.
McCurdy-Quintana told INSIDE EDITION, "I guess I just went into the "nothing zone." I just listened to the music and blocked him out and just kept staring."
McCurdy-Quintana said he tried to diffuse the frightening situation by focusing on the music playing in his truck as the enraged Marine sergeant pounded on his vehicle and threatened to kill him.
"The whole time I was in the nothing zone, so I wasn't thinking of anything besides the music," he recalled.
McCurdy-Quintana explained why he intentionally avoided eye contact with Sergeant Joshua Brightman.
"Me looking at him, he would just have gotten more enraged, and I notice on the video at one point that I do look at him and he does get more enraged."
McCurdy-Quintana was driving his sister Bree to pickup her three-year-old son from daycare at Camp Pendleton outside San Diego. His sister is a Marine herself, who's now confined to a wheelchair following an injury.
He says Sergeant Brightman tried to cut into a line of vehicles waiting to enter the military base when their two vehicles lightly bumped into each other.
"Out of nowhere, he just slammed on the brakes, I could not go left or right," he said.
A photo shows the fender of McCurdy-Quintana's truck. It's just a scratch, but it was enough to set off the Marine.
"I was prepared to get out and confront the man, but as soon as he said, "I am going to (blank)ing kill you," I immediately locked the doors."
What upsets McCurdy-Quintana most is the way the sergeant exploded at his sister, a fellow Marine. The video shows Brightman yelling, "Take a (blank)ing video you (blank)."
"It was uncalled for—for the words, and what he said to my sister. It's just disrespectful for anyone to hear those words," said McCurdy-Quintana.
Brightman, who once addressed an elementary school assembly where his mother is a teacher, is a veteran of Afghanistan and recipient of the Purple Heart.
McCurdy-Quintana says he's now totally focusing on helping his sister deal with her injury. He told INSIDE EDITION that when he drove his sister to Camp Pendleton yesterday, they were escorted into a private room to find Sgt. Brightman waiting there to apologize.
McCurdy-Quintana recalled, "She was totally in shock. We were both blindsided."
But the driver, who is receiving praise for keeping his cool, doesn't believe the sergeant who threatened him is truly sorry, saying, "The way he said it did not feel like it was sincere, whatsoever."