Long jail sentence sought for driver who caused crash that killed three

Aftermath of the fatal accident on Saaremaa. January 11, 2020.
Aftermath of the fatal accident on Saaremaa. January 11, 2020. Source: Irina Mägi

The prosecutor on Friday sought a prison term of 14 years for Andres Reinart, who caused a drunk driving crash in which three people were killed and one severely injured on Saaremaa island in January 2020.

West District Prosecutor Rainer Amur said at the court sitting held at the Kuressaare court house that Reinart must be found guilty on the basis of the section of the Penal Code dealing with murder and given a sentence of 14 years in prison. 

The attorney for the defense, Anu Toomemägi, meanwhile said that the application of the section of the Penal Code dealing with murder is not justified in the case of a traffic offense and the accused must be acquitted on that charge.  

According to the attorney, the court also has to take into account that contributory fault was entailed in the accident, as also the driver of the vehicle of the victims violated traffic rules and that a specific section exists in the Penal Code that is applied in the case of such traffic accidents.    

Two women and an infant died in the crash involving an Audi driven by the accused and a Volvo passenger car that took place in Saaremaa at 2:45 p.m. on January 11, 2020.

The collision took place when the Audi driven by Reinart was overtaking the Volvo at a high speed, not noticing that the Volvo was about to make a left turn. A 27-year-old woman behind the wheel of the Volvo, her eight-month-old child and 58-year-old mother died in the crash and the driver of the Audi and a 37-year-old passenger of the Volvo, sister of the driver of the Volvo, were taken to hospital.

Nearly 10 kilometers before the site of the crash, Reinart, 34, had been measured by a police patrol to have been speeding at 138 kilometers per hour.

An hour after the accident, Reinart's blood alcohol content (BAC) was measured to be 3.51 per mille at Kuressaare hospital. Subsequent expert analysis lowered the figure to 1.82 per mille.

Reinart has said he remembers nothing of the accident. He has said that he remembers that he was about to take a nap in his vehicle as the woman he had spent the night with had to go somewhere. According to Reinart, the next thing he remembers is waking up in a hospital where he was told that he had participated in a car crash in which people were killed. 

The court is to hand down the verdict in mid-March.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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