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12-029 Marine Unit Investigates Personal Watercraft Crash Near Island Way In Intercoastal Waterway; Operator Seriously Injured

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
-Marine Unit

Clearwater Fire and Rescue

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC)

Michael R. Eytchison (Injured in Crash)
DOB: 12/21/1978
Address: 302 Congress Street, Oldsmar
Operating personal watercraft

Matthew J. Eickmeyer (Eytchison’s co-worker – transported him to docks after crash)
DOB: 07/17/1989
Operating personal watercraft

What:  Deputies assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit are investigating a personal watercraft crash near Island Way in the Intercoastal waterway. The operator sustained serious, but non-life threatening facial injuries and possible neck injuries.

Where:  Deputies responded to Intercoastal Waterway near Island Way.

When:  Deputies responded to the crash at about 3:08 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 2012.


According to deputies, 33-year-old Michael Eytchison and 22-year-old Matthew Eickmeyer were each riding a personal watercraft in the intercoastal waterway. Deputies say the men, employed by Short Block Technologies (SBT), a company that builds motors and tests parts for watercrafts,were out testing the crank shafts of the watercrafts for their employer.

The two were riding westbound on the north side of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway, when Eickmeyer lost sight of Eytchison. Eickmeyer proceeded to the area where he last saw him and discovered him injured in the mangroves. Eickmeyer put him on his personal watercraft and immediately transported him to the Seminole Street boat ramp. Eytchison was then transported from there to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa for treatment of non life-threatening injuries.

According to Marine Unit investigators, it appears Eytchison attempted to turn away from the mangroves as he approached them, but failed to make the turn and continued on into the mangroves at a rate of speed of about 30 miles per hour. Eytchison sustained serious facial injuries and possible neck injuries.

Deputies say the crash does not appear to be alcohol/drug impairment related.

The investigation continues.

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