F-150-Driving Criminal’s Escape Plan Was All Wet

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Attempting to avoid police, man drives his F-150 into a river. It went about as well as expected. 

When police in Astoria, Oregon tried to apprehend a suspect for a simple parole violation, they had no idea the lengths he would go to to escape. Namely, launching his Ford F-150 into the Columbia River. We’re not sure what his thinking was, but last we checked the F-150 does not offer a amphibious driving option.

Timofey Erofeeff, the not-so-smooth criminal in question, was spotted trespassing by law enforcement. When the police discovered he was in violation of his parole, they attempted to arrest him. But Erofeeff decided he wasn’t going down without a fight; an ill-advised, stupid fight. Officer Kevin Berry described the scene to the The Daily Astorian.

“Erofeeff proceeded to take off at a high rate of speed straight away from me,” Berry said. “Erofeeff turned onto a dead-end pier and began accelerating. Erofeeff launched his vehicle off the end of the pier, into the Columbia River at a rate of speed I estimate to be about 45 mph.”

Ford F-150

Erofeeff then got out of his truck as it went underwater, and he started swimming, trying to reach an island about one-third of a mile away. We assume he must have thought it was Fantasy Island if he was to escape. Now, Erofeeff is clearly no Michael Phelps, and he started to struggle in the water. Fortunately, the Coast Guard arrived on the scene to assist, but Erofeeff had already made it back towards the pier where he was tossed a life jacket and helped out of the water. After being checked at a nearby hospital he was, of course, promptly arrested.

“When I asked him why he took off in his vehicle, he [said] he knew I was going to arrest him and he thought to himself, ‘I’m not getting arrested today,’” said Berry. Well, that didn’t exactly pan out.

The truck has been recovered from the river. The U.S Coast Guard monitored as WTC Marine located and removed the waterlogged F-150. “It was just a long, arduous process finding the truck,” said Jeremy Milligan, a shipwright with WCT Marine. They utilized a diver in locating the pickup underwater. After that, they hooked the F-150 to a tow hitch and lifted it by crane on the dock.

F-150 driver

As for Erofeeff, who really should have just stayed in bed that day, he was indicted and is currently awaiting trial. He was charged with a number of offenses, including attempting to elude police with a vehicle, reckless driving, refusing to obey a police officer, third-degree escape, second-degree criminal trespassing, and yes, even an offensive littering citation for dumping the truck and its related automotive flotsam and jetsam in the river.

In a story full of bad decisions, we couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that in Erofeef’s mugshot he was wearing a shirt that reads, “Race to the Bar.”

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S.J. Bryan is an editor with Ford Truck Enthusiasts and regular contributor to F-150 Online and Harley-Davidson Forums, among other auto sites.

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