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Prosecutor seeks 13-year sentence in deadly moped-car crash

The man who in February crashed into a moped car, killing two teenagers in Sastamala, faces an array of criminal charges, including manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol. The prosecutor dismisses the defendant's claim that he meant to kill himself in the crash.

The courtroom where the minivan driver's case is being tried, partly in secret. Image: Mari Siltanen / Yle

Pirkanmaa District Court on Wednesday began hearing the case of a minivan driver who intentionally crashed into a moped car on February 18th.

The collision in south-west Finland claimed the lives of two 17-year-olds. The driver faces charges of manslaughter, aggravated traffic endangerment and aggravated drink driving.

The accused has denied the two instances of manslaughter but admitted to negligent homicide. The man has previously stated he intended to drive into a lorry or rockface and to only end his own life.

The prosecutor is demanding a minimum prison sentences of 13 years.

The case is being tried partially in secret, at the request of the accused. The state of his mental health and separate issues of child protection will be handled behind closed doors.

Prosecutor dismisses suicide claim

The prosecutor argues the accused understood that a small vehicle was approaching him on the night of the crash, and that the driver knew his ostensible suicide attempt would be unsuccessful, based on the two-ton weight of his own van.

Pictures used in the trial as evidence show the moped car was destroyed beyond recognition, while only the front of the minivan was crushed.

Video evidence also shows what the headlights of the vehicles in question looked like at the time of the crash. The prosecutor says that identifying the type of vehicle approaching would have been easy, while the accused says the cars were driving in single file, making identification difficult.

The crash occurred on the border of the municipalities of Sastamala and Nokia, to the west of Tampere. The driver's blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was 1.38 per mille, and he had also taken various sedatives.

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