GALLIPOLIS — A man driving Gallipolis city streets on a motorcycle fled from police and crashed Saturday night after they attempted to pull him over for a routine traffic stop.
According to information released by the Gallipolis Police Department, Ethan Dovenbarger, 20, of Gallipolis, was allegedly observed by an officer around 9: 20 p.m. not wearing eye protection near Second Avenue and Pine Street. The officer attempted to pull behind Dovenbarger to begin the traffic stop. That’s when Dovenbarger allegedly “took off at a high rate of speed southbound on Second Avenue” before the officer activated his lights. After activating his lights, the officer then established pursuit.
According to GPD Chief Clint Patterson, he estimated the driver to allegedly be traveling around 80 mph in a 25 mph zone. The suspect dodged several vehicles on both left and ride sides before crashing close to the intersection of Second Avenue and Grape Street.
Dovenbarger was transported to Holzer Medical Center and was last reported as of 10:30 a.m. Monday to be in stable condition with minor injuries.
“It’s sad that someone like that would endanger not only himself, but everyone he came close to, all over a $100 traffic ticket,” Patterson said. “It’s a little bit of a fine that he may not have needed to go to court for. Now he’s maybe looking at something like felony charges for fleeing and eluding.”
Patterson said that for motorcycle drivers in Ohio, eye protection is essential unless their vehicle is already equipped with a windshield. Drivers over 18 must have a year’s driving experience before being able to drive without a helmet.
“If you wear glasses, sunglasses should work but normally you want safety glasses, something that is shatterproof,” Patterson said. “It’s to protect your eyes from debris and bugs that are flying at you on the road.”
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, 2014 saw 3,651 motorcycle crashes. Of those, 140 resulted in death. Individuals injured counted at 3,060.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.