Riga-Saint Petersburg coach crashes in northeastern Estonia, injures 12
A cross-national coach with 26 passengers and two drivers on board crashed on Jõhvi-Tartu-Valga highway on Friday night, injuring 12. Two people are said to have suffered serious injuries.
The Lux Express coach was traveling from Riga, Latvia to Saint Petersburg, Russia when it crashed near Puru village in Ida-Viru County at 00:42.
According to Hannes Saarpuu, chairman of the board of Lux Express, the coach was carrying Estonian, Latvian and Russian citizens.
Altogether 12 people were taken to the hospital from the scene, two with serious injuries. "As of this morning, four remain in the hospital," Saarpuu said.
A police investigation will determine the exact cause and details of the accident but police say the driver was sober and not exceeding the speed limit.
"Sleet made the road conditions difficult," Tarvo Kruup from the East Police Department told ERR, adding that driving on the icy roads was made even harder by strong winds.
According to Kruup, initial observations show that not all passengers were wearing a seat-belt, which is mandatory in Estonia in all vehicles where one is provided.
Slippery conditions have caused dozens of accidents over the past few days.