After a 30-minute chase Friday morning, police resorted to using a firearm and a roadblock to stop a stolen car, finding a 16-year-old boy at the wheel.
Authorities were notified at 09:00 that a Volkswagen Touran moving north on the Tallinn-Tartu highway was being driven in a suspicious manner, reported uudised.err.ee.
When a police cruiser caught up with the car just before Adavere, the driver refused to stop, heading to the Mäo crossing and reaching speeds of up to 160 kph.
The four lanes of the Mäo viaduct were blocked off with five police vehicles and the help of a semi-trailer truck. The fleeing driver attempted to veer around the roadblock using the road's shoulder, after which police used a firearm to try to stop the car, which finally got stuck in a ditch. Once stopped, the 16-year-old refused to open unlock the vehicle's door and a police officer broke the window to force him out.
The driver, though two years under the country's minimum legal driving age, was sober. A 15-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy were passengers in the car.
"Considering last week's tragedy in Lääne County [where a drunk driver caused the deaths of four young people and seriously injured a fifth] it is incomprehensible why the youths endangered the lives of themselves and others in this way. From a talk with the boy who had been driving the car it emerged that he was motivated to take such a risk by the wish to drive to his girlfriend's home, but that is not an adequate explanation for a drive that could have ended tragically," said Paide police chief Üllar Kütt.
The car had been stolen in Saku the previous night.