POINT PLEASANT — The Point Pleasant Police Department has learned the identity of the man who allegedly led the police on a high speed pursuit through Jackson and Mason Counties during the early morning hours this past Saturday, ending with his fatal crash into the Kanawha River.
Point Pleasant Chief of Police Joe Veith reported the driver of the vehicle was Eric Don Yancey, 39, of Athens, Ohio. Veith explained Yancy’s body was identified by a family member and a physical examination was conducted by the West Virginia State Police’s Crime Lab.
According to Veith, on Saturday morning the vehicle was allegedly stolen in the Belpre, Ohio area. The owners of the vehicle had a GPS tracking device in the vehicle which was reportedly used to assist in tracking the vehicle.
Veith explained the driver of the vehicle allegedly traveled into the Ravenswood area and was pursued by the Ravenswood City Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. When the vehicle was traveling toward Mason County, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office advised the Point Pleasant Police Department.
Veith explained when the vehicle came into the Point Pleasant area, it was traveling at such a high rate the Point Pleasant polices officers had to back off the pursuit.
The driver allegedly sped down through Main Street in Point Pleasant and went straight through the flood gates at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park and into the river approximately 25-30 yards said Veith.
Allegedly, when the the vehicle was recovered, the driver was an unidentified white male and deceased. According to Veith, the driver’s body was sent West Virginia State Police’s crime lab, so the body could be identified.
Veith reported there was no damage done in the city of Point Pleasant from this incident.
Those who reported to the scene were those from the Point Pleasant Police Department, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Point Pleasant EMS, Point Pleasant Fire Department, Gallipolis Fire Department, Ravenswood City Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and the West Virginia State Police.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.