Man drives off pier to avoid police, officials say

Timofey Erofeeff’s booking

Timofey Erofeeff’s booking

A suspected boat prowler fleeing from police drove his pickup off an OR pier and into the Columbia River.

When they approached Erofeeff to take him into custody for a Deschutes County parole violation, he sped off down a dock in his truck and drove it into the Columbia River.

A December 27, 2017 booking photo of Timofey Erofeeff from the Astoria police department.

In a court filing, the arresting officer from the Astoria Police Department estimated that Erofeeff was driving 45 miles per hour when the pickup launched off the pier.

He was also taken to jail and charged with burglary and attempting to elude police.

Erofeeff's truck sails off the pier into the Columbia River
Erofeeff’s truck sails off the pier into the Columbia River

He couldn't cross the river, and he would have frozen to death if he stayed in the water, so he swam back to shore.

Officers did not follow Erofeeff when he drove onto a pier, but he continued and launched the pickup off the end into the Columbia before exiting the vehicle. Pursuers-turned-rescuers tossed him a life vest but he had to wait for some nearby fishermen to tug him aboard their boat.

The suspect spent about 20 minutes in the icy water.

"I'm thankful the men from WCT Marine and fishing vessel (Pacific Wind) were there and willing to help", Astoria Deputy Police Chief Eric Halverson told The Daily Astorian. "Mr. Erofeeff should be thankful too".

As of Wednesday night, the truck was still in the water with a visible fuel sheen coming from it. The Coast Guard later pulled his truck out of the river.

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