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Driver in fatal eastern Finland crash had no licence

Three people died in eastern Finland on Thursday when a 48-year-old suspected drunk driver with no licence crashed into oncoming traffic.

Mäntyharjulla tapahtuneen nokkakolarin onnettomuuspaikka.
The scene of the head-on collision that claimed three lives in Mäntyharju, eastern Finland. Image: Esa Huuhko / Yle

Police have identified the three people killed in a head-on collision that followed a car chase involving one of the drivers.

The accident occurred in Mäntyharju, eastern Finland on Thursday when a man suspected of driving under the influence, a 48-year-old local, ran into an oncoming car while evading police. He perished in the crash.

Police said Friday that the other victims in the oncoming car were a couple in their seventies who lived in Central Finland.

Lead investigator Detective Inspector Harri Kääpä said that the suspected drunk driver had been travelling at a very high speed at the time of the crash.

“We have video that police recorded of the runaway car before they lost sight of it. It looked like the car was moving at nearly 200 kilometres an hour,” Kääpä added.

The allegedly intoxicated driver had no driver’s license, police noted.

Meanwhile the Prosecutor’s Office is investigating police actions during the incident.

“There is no reason to suspect that police acted incorrectly, but the case is being investigated in accordance with normal practice,” Kääpä said.

The accident occurred on Road 381 about kilometres from Mäntyharju in the Suomenniemi direction. Police said in a statement Thursday that the suspected drunk driver first collided with a car in front of him before careening into another vehicle travelling in the opposite lane.

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