Saaremaa fatal collision driver blood alcohol lower than earlier thought

Aftermath of the fatal crash which killed a baby and two women on Saaremaa.
Aftermath of the fatal crash which killed a baby and two women on Saaremaa. Source: Irina Mägi

A drink driver involved in a collision which killed a baby and two women on the island of Saaremaa last weekend may have had a significantly lower blood alcohol content than initially thought, Baltic News Service reports.

Whereas a reading taken at a hospital in Kuressaare, the island's capital, in the aftermath of the crash last Saturday afternoon, gave a level of 3.51 per mille, another test taken via a blood sample at a forensic center three hours after the accident, which took place at 2.45 p.m., showed a reading of 1.82 per mille.

Head of the Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) Western Prefecture Kaido Koplane said both results were significant in the ongoing investigation into the case, which PPA chief said earlier in the week was a criminal matter and not an accident.

"We are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the grave offense that ended in the death of three people," Koplane said.

"Doctors have given hope that the health condition of the driver will improve so much that we can take a statement also from him in addition to the statements taken from witnesses. In addition to the driver's intoxication, it is important to clarify also all other circumstances of the criminal offense, and that is what we are doing now," he added.

Two women and a baby died in the collision, at a junction at the 128-kilometer mark of the Risti-Virtsu-Kuivastu road (Risti and Virtsu are on the mainland-ed.). The victims were in a Volvo which was aiming to turn left, when the driver of an Audi, named in the media as Andres Reinart (link in Estonian), overtook at speed as they turned into the Audi's path. Additionally, a passenger in the Volvo was taken to hospital, as was the Audi driver. One of the women killed was reportedly the baby's mother.

The drink driving limit in Estonia is zero, though with a tolerance of readings slightly higher than that to account for false positives and naturally occurring alcohol in the body.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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