Two children traveling in different vehicles were shot and killed by the drivers who fired at each other, a Florida sheriff's office said.

Two children traveling in different vehicles were shot and killed by the drivers who fired at each other, a Florida sheriff’s office said.

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According to a Florida sheriff, a 5-year-old and a 14-year-old traveling in separate vehicles were hit by bullets when the two drivers opened fire.

Two vehicles, a Dodge Ram pickup and a Nissan Murano, were erratic driving on US Highway 1 was driving north from Jacksonville to Nassau County on Oct. 8 around 6 p.m., Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said during a news conference.

A witness told authorities that both vehicles were driving aggressively, playing “cat and mouse” and “checking the brakes,” he said. Checking the brakes it is if one driver maneuvers in front of another and slams on his or her brakes.

The driver of the Dodge Ram, William Hale, 36, was driving next to the Nissan Murano and began yelling at that driver, Frank Ellison, 43, Leeper said.

A passenger in the Nissan Murano “knocked down” Hale, Leeper said. A plastic water bottle was then thrown through the open window of the Dodge Ram into the Nissan Murano.

Ellison then grabbed a gun and fired at the Dodge Ram before driving off, Leeper said.

Hale didn’t notice anyone had been shot until his passengers started “freaking out,” Leeper said. Then he realized that his 5-year-old daughter, who was riding in the back seat, was injured.

Hale then accelerated to approach the Nissan Murano and began firing the gun at the car, releasing the clip, Leeper said.

Three bullets entered the Nissan Murano, and one went through the back of the vehicle, hitting a 14-year-old girl in the back and causing her lungs to collapse, Leeper said.

Soon the drivers stopped their cars and started arguing. A responding sheriff’s deputy had to break up the argument, Leeper said.

Both children were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“There could have been two dead children because of two stupid grown men,” Leeper said.

Both Hale and Ellison face one count each of attempted murder, he said.

Leeper warned people on the road not to contact drivers who drive aggressively.

“Let them go. Slow down. Go the other way,” he said. “Get a description of the vehicle if you can and call the police. Don’t show them how stupid they are by doing stupid things yourself … because it could happen.”

Aggressive driving is operation of the vehicle in a manner that “endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Sixty-six percent fatal traffic accidents aggressive driving, reports

Madeleine List is a reporter for McClatchy National Real-Time. She has reported for the Cape Cod Times and the Providence Journal.