LEESBURG, Fla. – An 81-year-old man died after his vehicle hit a tree Thursday, Leesburg police said.
Members of Howard Witt's family told News 6 that they believe Witt had a heart attack after a road-rage incident, and that's what caused him to veer off the road.
"I don't know what the incident was that upset him, but he does have a temper, and he must have not been feeling good and he had health problems and it just hit him the wrong way," said Paul Witt Sr., Witt's brother.
Paul Witt Sr. said that his brother struggled with heart issues and feels that's what ultimately took his life before his car slammed into a tree.
"He had a heart attack and it just shows you that road rage or any kind of rage, if you got health problems, it's not good for you," said Paul Witt Sr.
Leesburg police said that a road-rage incident took place moments before the crash on U.S. Highway 27 and Vine Street about 11:50 a.m.
Paul Witt Sr. said that police told him Howard Witt got upset when a car cut him off on the road. Howard got out of his vehicle and exchanged words with another driver. Howard then got back into his vehicle upset, and that's when family members believe he had a heart attack.
"It's not like him to do that, but he does have a temper, and he followed them up the road and he pulled in front of him, stopped him and got out and confronted him and must have said a lot of words. He was really angry," Paul Witt Sr. said.
Howard Witt is described as a hard-working, caring man who lived independently. His family now has a message for anyone who gets worked up behind the wheel.
"Just think what would happen. What could happen if you lose your temper and they lose their temper. Somebody could be harmed of it. You're better off just to count to 10 like they say," said Paul Witt Sr.
The driver involved in the road-rage incident told police at the scene of the crash what had happened moments earlier.
Leesburg police said they're still investigating a possible medical episode that could have occurred before Witt hit the tree.
Anyone with information can contact police at 352-787-2121.