The weekend was off to a gloomy start in Tallinn city center, where a severe car collision on Saturday morning left 14 injured, including three children. One of the motorists has been confirmed as driving under the influence, the other driver involved was sober.
The police was notified of a collision of two cars on the intersection of Tartu Road and Kreutzwald Street at 9.47 on Saturday morning, Marie Aava, spokesperson for the Police and Border Guard told ERR.
A BMW 320i driven by the 22-year-old Gregor collided on approach from Lastekodu Street with a Mercedes-Benz, steered by the 42-year-old Eve, taking a left turn from Fr. R. Kreutzwald Street.
As a result of the collision, the Mercedes-Benz was thrown onto a pedestrian island on Tartu Road, injuring five people waiting there to cross: Oleg (64), Helen (37), Galina (57), a four-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl.
The BMW driver as well as two of its passengers, 17-year-old girls, were taken to the North Estonia Medical Center, with a fellow passenger, the 20-year-old Kristo, eventually turning to the East-Tallinn Central Hospital for medical assistance on his own.
The driver of the Mercedes-Benz and its passengers, a 15-year-old girl and the 41-year-old Heiki were taken to the North Estonia Medical Center, with 51-year-old Peeter admitted at the West-Tallinn Center Hospital and a 10-month-old boy transported to Tallinn Children's Hospital.
Oleg, Helen and Galina, the pedestrians waiting on the refuge island on Tartu Road, were also taken to the North Estonia Medical Center; the four-year-old boy and nine-year-old girl were taken to Tallinn Children's Hospital.
Circumstances surrounding the accident are currently being investigated, with the Police asking anyone with information relating to the incident to get in touch by calling (+372) 6 123 000 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We admitted nine injured individuals from the accident, of whom one was taken to Tallinn Children's Hospital. Two people were allowed into home care following thorough analyses. Six people were admitted to the hospital, with three requiring intensive care," Hede Kerstin Luik, a representative of the North Estonia Medical Center, told ERR, with additional confirmation that three people involved in the accident are still receiving intensive care as of Monday.
None of the children involved sustained life-threatening injuries, but one child was in intensive care as of yesterday, Marie Aava confirmed to Eesti Päevaleht.
The pedestrians could not avoid getting involved in the accident
Head of the Traffic Monitoring Center, Elari Kasemets acknowledged that considering the damage and location of the cars, it is likely that one of the drivers was exceeding the speed limit.
"Not much can currently be said in regards to who was to blame. The investigation will show who had the right of way and what traffic lights were showing. But looking at the damage on the cars and how they have moved as a result of the collision, I can definitely say that the speed involved was not in accordance to the speed limit within city boundaries," added Kasemets.
"Alcohol and driving do not go together and speed limits are set for a reason. This specific accident was very bad and a regrettable example of how reckless behavior can lead to the injury of innocent road users," said Kasemets, asking people to use caution and take others into consideration when using the roads.
Kasemets admitted that the pedestrians on the refuge island had no way of avoiding getting involved in the accident.
Identification of the causer as well as specific circumstances of the incident will be identified by a criminal procedure.
Traffic turmoil on Estonian roads continued on Sunday, with the police catching 37 motorists driving drunk as well as three steering under the influence of drugs. A further five traffic accidents involving injuries took place over the course of Sunday.
Editor: A. Kaer