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County court places Laagna tee fatal road accident driver into custody

Man who caused Laagna Road crash in court.
Man who caused Laagna Road crash in court. Source: ERR

Harju County Court has responded to the North District Prosecutor's Office's application to take the 20-year old man who caused a fatal accident on Laagna tee in Tallinn on June 20 into custody.

On Monday, ERR News wrote that the North District Prosecutor's Office had applied to Harju County Court for the man, whose speeding caused a four-car pile-up on Tallinn's Laagna tee that resulted in two people being killed and several injured, be taken into custody.

The alarm center received a call at 6:38 p.m. reporting a collision involving four passenger vehicles - a BMW, a Volvo, a Toyota and a Ford - on Laagna tee. All the vehicles were driving away from the city center and toward Mustakivi bridge at the time of the accident.

Raavo Järva from the North Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) said that the BMW first collided with the Ford. The collision resulted in the death of a pedestrian, a 61-year-old woman who had been standing at a bus stop, at the scene. A day later, the man who had been driving the Ford died in hospital.

A total of six people were injured, including all five people in the cars as well as another person who had been standing at the bus stop.

There was one person in both the BMW and the Toyota, who both - including the suspect - suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital for a checkup.

There were two people in the Volvo, one of whom is in severe condition in hospital. The Volvo had also been carrying a dog who fled the scene of the accident, but was caught later by animal shelter staff. The dog was also reportedly injured.

According to the North District Prosecutor's Office, the suspect was driving his BMW at 200 km/h, whereas the speed limit on Laagna tee is 70 km/h.

Diana Helila, North District Prosecutor, explained via press release that taking the man into custody was applied to because the 20-year old could pose a threat to fellow citizens if at large.

Helila added: "Based on the information of the crash and the young man's prior behavior, the Prosecutor's Office has concluded that the suspect has no respect for the rules of society. The only way to confirm that he will not participate in traffic is to take him into custody."

She also confirmed that the suspect did also not have the right to drive and was last convicted of a traffic offense three years ago.

The suspect: I didn't do it on purpose

The man who caused the crash said on Tuesday that he did not intend for the collision to take place; his lawyer, Indrek Põder, argued that the accident could just as equally have been caused by the Volvo instead.

The suspect, who holds Russian citizenship but was born and raised in Estonia, did however accept culpability.

He added that he feels remorse for everyone involved: "It all just happened, I didn't do it on purpose," he said.

When asked about driving the vehicle at 200 km/h, the accused noted that he was not looking at the speedometer, but rather at the cars in front of him. He claimed that his speed could not have been 200 km/h.

Lawyer Indrek Põder, said that the behavior of all parties involved has to be assessed, because there were four vehicles involved. His opinion is that the crash might have been caused by the driver of the Volvo instead, since they had switched lanes without properly making sure it was safe to do so.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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