A 34-year-old Swansea man will spend nearly three years in prison for having a gun while at the scene of an East St. Louis car accident that killed a mother and her daughter.
Eric Eiskant, one of the drivers in the crash, was a convicted felon at the time of the accident at St. Clair Avenue and 79th Street in East St. Louis in January. As a felon, he wasn’t supposed to possess any weapons.
A witness to the accident told police he went to check on the man after the crash, and Eiskant handed him a .25-caliber Beretta pistol, saying “I got to get out of here. I’m going to get in trouble,” according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Donald S. Boyce.
The witness kicked the gun under Eiskant’s car and later told officers where it was, the release said.
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Eiskant was sentenced in federal court Thursday.
In addition to the federal firearm charge, he is facing four counts of aggravated DUI resulting in death, two counts of reckless homicide and one count of possessing a controlled substance. These charges are in connection with the deaths of 32-year-old Tamika Thornton and her 12-year-old daughter, C’Mia Thomas. Those charges remained pending in St. Clair County as of Friday.
The charges allege Eiskant had cocaine, morphine and the anti-anxiety medication Alprazolam in his system at the time of the accident.
His 33-month federal sentence is to be served separately from any sentence passed down on his other charges.
“It hurts even more because you know how unnecessary it is because he chose to be a low-life and to be high,” Thornton’s sister, Erica Thornton-Smith told the News-Democrat in June. “He killed two people who had so much life ahead of them.”