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Court jails driver over crash that claimed three lives

The 18-year-old defendant was convicted on charges of aggravated negligent homicide, aggravated drunk driving and aggravated traffic safety endangerment.

Kolmen nuoren kuoleman vaatineen liikenneonnettomuuden paikka Nokialla.
The single-vehicle crash took place in Nokia, near the city of Tampere, at just after 1am on 16 August 2020. Image: Marko Melto / Yle

Pirkanmaa District Court has sentenced an 18-year-old man to five and a half years in prison for his involvement in a car crash that killed three people.

The defendant had faced three murder charges related to the single-vehicle crash in Nokia, near the city of Tampere, just after 1am on 16 August 2020. The car veered off the road and collided with a tree, instantly killing the three teenage passengers. The driver survived with minor injuries.

The court ruled that the defendant was guilty of three aggravated negligent homicides committed as a young person, as he was a minor at the time of the crash.

He was also found guilty of aggravated drunk driving and aggravated traffic safety endangerment as a young person.

The court ruled that the act did not meet the definition of manslaughter as the reaction of the defendant after the crash demonstrated that he did not consider it possible that the consequence of his actions could be three deaths.

"A voice in the background of the emergency centre call recording can be heard shouting "they can't be dead, they can't be dead". The accused was in shock, was crying hard and asked why he did not die and what he could now say to the mother," the court's ruling stated.

The court further found that a prosecution claim that the defendant was suicidal at the time of the crash was not proven.

Instead, the defendant was guilty of aggravated negligent homicides because he drank alcohol before driving and had also used his mobile phone while behind the wheel. Homicide convictions related to traffic accidents are very rare in Finnish history.

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