Prosecutor seeking long sentence for accused in deadly Laagna Road crash

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The crash site on Laagna Road, Tallinn. Source: ERR

Diana Helila, the prosecutor in charge of the criminal proceedings in an accident that killed two people and injured several others on Laagna Road on June last year, sought a long prison sentence for the two accused, 20-year-old Isa Khalilov and 29-year-old Vjatseslav Kalasnikov, in Harju County Court on Tuesday.

Helila said that the guilt of Khalilov and Kalasnikov in causing a road accident with grave consequences has been proven and that they should each be handed a 12-year prison sentence.

Defense lawyers Vladimir Sadekov and Dmitri Skoljar will also present their arguments, after which Khalilov and Kalasnikov will be able to use their right of final rebuttal. The court will subsequently schedule the announcement of the judgement.

During the hearing of the accused on April 13, the two men could not remember how fast they were driving at the time of the accident.

Khalilov and Kalasnikov presented to the court their versions of the event, according to which they ended up on Laagna Road incidentally, and contrary to what has been said in the statement of charges, they had not agreed on doing so previously.

"We just happened to be driving in the same direction," Khalilov said. Kalasnikov noted that he only saw that Khalilov was driving behind him in his rear-view mirror in central Tallinn and that he did not know anything more about him when he arrived on Laagna Road.

The district prosecutor's office has charged Khalilov and Kalasnikov under the section of the Penal Code dealing with violation of traffic requirements or vehicle operating rules by a driver of a motor vehicle if it causes the death of two or more people. 

According to the information collected in the course of the investigation, on the afternoon of June 20, 2020 the accused jointly started a drive from the city center towards the district of Lasnamäe. The vehicles, a Chevrolet Camaro driven by Kalasnikov and a BMW X5 driven by Khalilov, were speeding during their drive along Pärnu Road to Narva Road, finally arriving at Laagna Road.

On Laagna Road, the two started to consistently increase their speed, reaching speeds of 190-200 kilometers per hour. Near the address of 13 Mustakivi Street, the Chevrolet driven by Kalasnikov overtook a Volvo driven by a 54-year-old man. The BMW, driving after the Chevrolet, hit the Volvo from the back, as a result of which the Volvo was thrown to the left onto a lawn and the BMW was thrown to the right, hitting a Ford driven by a 39-year-old man from behind.

The Ford, in turn, was thrown against a Toyota car in front of it, driven by a 28-year-old man.

As a result of the impact, the BMW and the Ford hit a bus shelter on the right side of the road at which two pedestrians, women aged 61 and 32, were waiting for a bus. The 61-year-old woman and the 39-year-old male driver were killed as a result, while four more people sustained injuries, who we hospitalized from the scene.

In the trial that began at the Harju County Court on February 8, Khalilov, who is accused of causing the accident, partially admitted his guilt, while fellow accused Kalasnikov, 29, did not. Khalilov pleaded guilty in part, in that he exceeded the speed limit, while Kalasnikov did not admit his guilt but admitted that he did exceed the speed limit.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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