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Driver facing aggravated involuntary manslaughter charges over fatal bus crash

The bus driver is also suspected of endangering traffic and 22 counts of causing bodily injury following an accident that claimed four lives and injured many others.

Tuulilasin romu lähellä Kuopion bussiturman tapahtumapaikkaa.
The windshield of the bus involved in Friday's fatal crash. Image: Matti Myller / Yle

Eastern Finland Police are investigating last Friday’s fatal bus crash as a case of aggravated traffic endangerment, with four counts of aggravated involuntary manslaughter, and 22 counts of causing personal injury.

The main suspect is the bus driver, a 67-year-old man from Ylitornio in Lapland, who was not a permanent employee of the Kemi bus company whose bus he was driving.

Police initially investigated the accident as a case of traffic endangerment and four counts of aggravated involuntary manslaughter.

On Thursday, the Eastern Finland police department indicated that it has updated the potential charges as the investigation has progressed and new information has come to light.

Maximum six-year sentence

According to the law, if a crime is caused by gross negligence, the offender must be sentenced accordingly and imprisonment can range from four months to a maximum of six years.

Last Friday, four people died and about 20 were injured as the driver sped up a ramp in Kuopio, causing him to lose control of the bus and plough through five cars before plunging off an overpass and landing on a train track below the roadway.

Following the accident, the driver initially said the brakes had failed. He later changed his story and said that he wasn’t certain about the brakes.

After an initial investigation over the weekend, the Finnish Safety Investigation Authority (Otke) ruled that the brakes were not to blame for the accident.

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