Drunk driver in fatal Saaremaa crash to go on trial in October

Scene of the deadly crash in Saaremaa. January 11, 2020.
Scene of the deadly crash in Saaremaa. January 11, 2020. Source: Irina Mägi

The trial of a driver who caused a road accident while drunk which killed two women and an infant in Saaremaa will start in October, it was decided by Pärnu County Court on Tuesday.

The Pärnu County Court at a preliminary hearing scheduled the trial of Andres Reinart, aged 34, for the second half of October.

Anu Toomemägi, defense lawyer for Reinart, who has been charged with murder, applied for Reinart's release from custody, and the court is scheduled to deliver a ruling on Wednesday.

Toomemägi said while Reinart's actions do not deserve a murder charge, it is up to the prosecutor which accusation they take to the court and which risk they thus assume.

Prosecutor Rainer Amur has said earlier that according to the charges filed by the prosecutor's office, the accused knew that he was heavily intoxicated, he knowingly and intentionally drove significantly faster than the speed limit, and intentionally moved into the opposite lane in a place where overtaking is prohibited.

"The assessment of the prosecutor's office is that he had to know that safe overtaking depends not on him but on chance, and did not care about it. Such behavior poses a most serious threat to fellow road users and therefore presents a danger to the public," he said.

The investigation was opened based on the section of the Penal Code dealing with the violation of traffic requirements or vehicle operating rules by a driver, when committed in intoxicated state and which causes the death of two or more people. Considering the evidence, the prosecutor found however that the sequence of decisions that led to the tragic event of January 11 deserves to be handled under one of the harshest sections of the Penal Code.

Two women and an infant died in the crash involving a Volvo and an Audi passenger car that took place in the 128th kilometer of the Risti-Virtsu-Kuivastu road on the afternoon of January 11.

The police were informed about the collision that took place when the Audi driven by the intoxicated driver was overtaking the Volvo at a high speed, not noticing that the Volvo was about to make a left turn, at 2:45 p.m. Two women and a small child died in the accident and the driver of the Audi and a passenger of the Volvo were taken to hospital.

Nearly 10 kilometers before the site of the crash, Reinart had been measured to have been speeding at 138 kilometers per hour by police officers.

An hour after the accident, Reinart's blood alcohol content (BAC) was measured to be 3.7 promilles at Kuressaare hospital. Subsequent expert analysis lowered the figure to 1.82 promille.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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