Drunk driver involved in multi-victim accident

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On Saturday morning, a serious traffic accident happened at Tartu Highway and F. R. Kreutzwaldi St intersection, Tallinn, as a Mercedes-Benz at left-turn from Kreutzwaldi St was hit by a BMW with Gregori (22) drunk at the wheel. According to police, the BMW went above speed limit. Eve (42), the driver of the Mercedes, was sober.

In the accident, 14 individuals were injured, including three children. One of the injured was helped on the spot. The impact sent the Mercedes crashing into five pedestrians standing on a traffic island: Oleg (64), Helen (37), Galina (57) a boy of 4 and a girl aged 9.

There were four individuals in the BMW and five in the Mercedes. North-Tallinn Regional Hospital communications manager Hede Kerstin Luik told Postimees that nine people were brought to the hospital, including a child – the latter forwarded to the children’s hospital. After medical assessments, two of the people were allowed to be treated at home; six remained hospitalised, of these three are in intensive care.

Eastern Tallinn Central Hospital communications manager Kadri Penjam said their hospital received one of the injured, by ambulance. However, about an hour later, another came for medical check-up. «Both were assessed and sent to out-patient treatment. Neither was hospitalised,» said Ms Penjam.

Police and Border Guard Northern prefecture press rep Marie Aava said three children were taken to Children’s Hospital. Upon assessment, it was determined all was okay with a boy ten months old, and a girl of 9 – both could go home. As at Saturday, the four year old boy who had been on the traffic island was in intensive care, said Ms Aava.

Northern prefecture’s traffic surveillance head Elari Kasemets said that of the 13 taken to hospital, nine had been in the cars. The rest were pedestrians waiting on a traffic island to cross the street. «They were simply hit by a car thrown there by the impact,» said Ms Kasemets.

She said an investigation will determine who had right of way and what the traffic light were. «One of the drivers was drunk. By the damage and location of these vehicles, I dare say the speeds were not 50 km/h,» said Ms Kasemets.

As related by Ms Kasemets to Public Broadcasting TV news «Aktuaalne kaamera», the people on the traffic island had no way to avoid the accident. 

«The accident, the incident was unexpected for them all and serves as an example of why city needs a city speed limit, and why one may never drive while drunk. As indeed it is not just the offenders who are hurt, but bystanders. People totally innocent, not guilty of anything, may get very seriously injured,» she said.

The facts of the accidents are being clarified and the police asks that eyewitnesses call them on the phone at 6 123 000, or e-mail to pohja.lmt@politsei.ee.