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Police: Fatal Sastamala minivan crash an attempted suicide

Two 17-year-olds were killed on Saturday in a car crash in Sastamala, Pirkanmaa. Police say a minivan driven by a suicidal 35-year-old man collided with a moped car, killing the two teenage passengers instantly.

Onnettomuuspaikka Sastamalassa
Candles at the scene of the crime. Image: Matias Väänänen / Yle

Police are investigating a car crash that claimed the lives of two teenagers on Saturday evening in Sastamala as double manslaughter, after their investigation led them to believe that the 35-year-old driver of the minivan swerved to hit the oncoming moped car on purpose. They think the driver was attempting suicide, and was not badly injured.

The collision occurred on Road 12 in Sastamala, Pirkanmaa at 7:40 pm on Saturday. In addition to manslaughter the incident is being investigated as aggravated drink driving and aggravated traffic safety endangerment.

Chain of events

Police were alerted to a domestic disturbance at a residence in the Nokia region on Saturday at 7:17 pm. Before the patrol arrived at the location a family member informed emergency services that the suspect had left by car.

The next report police received was at 7:35 pm, when a car allegedly crashed into a concrete well ring by the side of the road. The car had continued on its way after parts of it, including the registration plate had fallen off.

At this point several police patrols from Nokia went in pursuit of the vehicle. At the same time a call was made by a driver who had narrowly missed a crash with an oncoming dark van.

Under the influence

The final call came in at 7:40 pm, indicating that a head-on collision had killed two teenagers. A number of eyewitnesses all corroborated the claim that the minivan driver swerved to hit the oncoming moped car intentionally.

The speed of the minivan at the time is as yet unclear, but preliminary estimates do not put the speed at substantially above the limit.

The suspect was apprehended at the scene of the crime. His blood alcohol content was well over the legal level. He had also been taking prescription medicine.

According to the police release the suspect has a history of mental health problems, and has exhibited self-destructive behaviour in the past.

Edit: Clarified blood alcohol content information.

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