Saaremaa fatal drink driving suspect arrested after hospital discharge

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

The driver of a car involved in a fatal collision which killed three generations of one family on Saaremaa last month has been arrested as a drink driving suspect.

The crash happened on the afternoon of Saturday, January 11th when a car driven by the suspect struck a vehicle aiming to turn left off the Risti-Virtsu-Kuivastu road on Saaremaa. Two women and nine-old-month baby were killed. The two women were the baby's mother and grandmother.

The driver, who was known to the authorities following previous drink-driving episodes, was injured in the collision and taken to hospital. Upon being released from hospital Wednesday afternoon, he was immediately detained by the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).

Pärnu County Court granted the prosecution's request to arrest the man, in accordance with Estonian legal proceedings.

"Evidence gathered so far makes it very difficult to call the January 11 event an accident," said prosecutor Rainer Amur. 

"Driving a car while completely drunk, speeding, and killing several people is no accident, but a traffic offense. Arrest is the only way for the prosecution to make sure this man doesn't get drunk again or has no fear of receiving a punishment," Amur went on.

In its arrest warrant application, the prosecution claims that there is reasonable suspicion that the man behind the wheel at the time of the accident had committed such a crime.

The man has been interrogated as a suspect, but in the interest of the proceedings, no comment can be made on the content of his testimony before the investigation is completed, nor can any other findings of the criminal investigation be made public, according to ERR's online news in Estonian.

The case is being investigated by the PPA's Western Prefecture under the direction of the Prosecutor's Office Western District.

PPA criminal investigations are as a rule directed by the prosecutor's office.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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