A 22-year-old woman crashed her BMW into a residential building on Viljandi's Köstri street after the speed at which the vehicle was traveling caused it to fly out of a steep turn and take flight, passing over a parked vehicle and a fence for a total distance of several dozen meters on Monday. The driver, who initially fled the scene, was found to be under the influence of narcotic substances.
The BMW 530D that was coming from Männimäe bumped into the curbstone at the intersection of Vaksali and Kalevi streets and took flight. The vehicle's speed had to have been so great that it passed over an Audi parked in the yard. Having cleared the other vehicle, the BMW broke down the top of a tree, hurling it onto the building's roof, to finally land after what is believed to be a 45-meter flight.
That did not stop the vehicle, however, that finally came to a halt inside the house after crashing through a pile of building materials and a woodpile, as well as the building's wall. Pieces of debris and building materials were later found on the other side of Köstri street.
Participated in several accidents
The traffic damage register reveals that the BMW in question has participated in no fewer than four traffic accidents this year, at least two of which were caused by the driver of the executive saloon. Information available to Postimees suggests the vehicle is used as a so-called app taxi, to offer services through Taxify, Uber, and Drivr.
Eyewitnesses reported that the driver, a 22-year-old woman, initially fled the scene. The police summoned a forensics expert from Valga to take a DNA sample from the steering wheel. It later turned out that the young woman had been picked up by a passing driver and taken to hospital in Viljandi. She was found to have no serious injuries and was allowed to go home after a medical examination.
Police press representative Maria Gonjak said that while she was not found to have alcohol in her blood, an on-site test suggested she had used cannabis. The driver was sent for more thorough testing, results of which will determine whether the case will taken forward in misdemeanor or criminal proceedings. The police did not deem it necessary to detain the women after testing.
The owner of the apartment in which the vehicle landed, 67-year-old Aleksander Koni, was watching television when the accident took place. Even though the vehicle came to a halt just one and a half meters from where Koni was sitting, and the room was instantly filled with rubble, the man was miraculously unharmed. The car also broke the furnace in the room.
Half of the house unusable
Koni, who has lived in the building on Köstri street all his life, remembers nothing of the accident except a cloud of white dust and shock. “I was watching a movie on TV; I was just thinking that it will end in 10-15 minutes, and that I'll turn in once it does. All of a sudden there was a loud crash, and my mouth and eyes were filled with dust. I couldn't see who was driving or how many people there were in the car,” Koni said yesterday, still visibly shocked by the incident.
The man is currently living in a smaller room in the part of the house that was untouched by the accident. However, the lion's share of his half of the building has been rendered unusable. The car broke the building's load-bearing structure, bent inserted ceilings and the roof. Koni said that his side of the house was uninsured, and that he cannot say whether it will be possible to restore any of it. “It needs to be cleared first; however, you cannot move anything right now,” he said.
The damage will be covered by the insurer of the vehicle that caused the accident.
The BMW is insured by Compensa Estonia, head of loss adjustment at which Indrek Petter said that even though the woman who caused the accident has not contacted the insurance company yet, they are already working on the particulars of the incident. “We contacted one of our construction partners in Viljandi some time ago. We asked them to visit the scene of the accident and assess the extent of damage,” Petter said.
Next the firm will wait for the victim's claim. “Then we will move forward with damage assessment,” he said. Petter added that traffic accidents that cause such severe damage happen seldom in Estonia.