The Midsummer holiday weekend passed largely in typical fashion for Estonian police and rescue services, however one 16-year-old young man died in an ATV accident.
Among other incidents, police and rescue workers caught a total of 90 drunk drivers behind the wheel, escorted 16 drunk minors from Midsummer bonfires to their parents, broke up nearly 50 disputes between neighbors over bonfires and extinguished a couple more serious house fires, reported ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera" over the weekend.
At 11:01 a.m. on St. John's Day on Saturday, emergency services received a call that a 16-year-old young man crashed and was pinned under an ATV in Viljandi County's Holstre village. Paramedics were unable to revive him. According to initial information, at the time of the crash, the young man was not wearing the required harness-style seatbelt or helmet and did not have ATV-driving privileges.
Estonian police visited a total of 90 public Midsummer events and a recurring cause for concern was drunk minors. North District operational director Valdo Põder encouraged parents to show interest in their children's Midsummer plans, including where and with whom they would be spending the holidays.
"It isn't difficult to give them a call or two, ask how they are doing, whether everything is okay and even based on their response be able to tell what state they're in," said Põder.
Rescue workers called to settle disputes between neighbors
According to Estonian Rescue Board operational director Rasmus Laar, rescue workers responded to a total of 156 calls, of which 48 involved Midsummer bonfires.
An unwelcome trend this year was rescue workers having to resolve disputes, such as neighbors blaming each other for bonfire smoke blowing the wrong way and asking that rescue workers put out the bonfire involved — this was the most common issue involved in calls to which they responded. As all of the bonfires met fire safety requirements, rescue workers were left with simply resolving disputes.
Police also registered a total of ten incidents of domestic violence as well as two stabbings. According to police spokespeople, police on Friday responded to a call in Pärnu County's Saarde Municipality, where a 21-year-old man stabbed his partner with a knife. Police arrested the man in question, reported daily Postimees (link in Estonian). The second incident took place in Järva County's Türi Municipality, where a man, 59, was hospitalized after being stabbed in a farmhouse. The identity of the possible attacker is known to the police.
Editor: Aili Vahtla