Joosep Laiksoo

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Joosep Laiksoo (born 29 September 1990) is an Estonian rally driver. He was convicted of manslaughter after being involved in a car accident.

Car racing[edit]

Laiksoo won the first race he entered in – the Otepää Junior Race – on 3 November 2007.[1] Afterwards he won several Estonian rally events.[2][3]

Car accident[edit]

On 8 December 2007 afternoon, three cars crashed into each other on the 91st kilometre of TallinnTartu highway, near Paide leading to death of three people; a fourth car drove out of the road to avoid crashing.[4][5] The crash was caused, as was later found, by Laiksoo's Volvo XC90, driving into the opposite lane and crashing head-on into a VAZ 21063, driven by a man identified as Heinar, born in 1930. A Seat Cordoba, driven by a man identified as Tarmo, born in 1951, which had been driving after the VAZ then crashed into it. Heinar, Tarmo, and a female person who had been travelling in the VAZ died due to the crash. In order to avoid crashing into the crashed cars, a Renault driven by a woman identified as Triin, born in 1982, drove off the road, suffering no significant injuries.

Laiksoo, being only 17 years old at the time of the crash, was legally required to only drive under supervision of an adult licensed driver. However, he was driving alone at the time.

In the trial court's ruling from July 31, 2008, judge Heino-Vello Pihlak found Laiksoo guilty, and sentenced him to three years of imprisonment, suspended. The sentence was reduced by 1/3 on accord of the trial being conducted in a breve fashion. As an additional punishment, Laiksoo's driving license was revoked, non-reinstatable for one year. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 6525 EEK, the forensic expertise costs of 34855 EEK and the court costs of 371 EEK. In its appellate review, the Tallinn district court vacated a part of the trial court's ruling, converted three months of the two-year imprisonment into a shock incarceration and extended the non-reinstatement of his driving license to three years.[6][7]

Second crash[edit]

On 12 December 2008, Laiksoo caused another car crash in Tallinn damaging a Volvo driven by Mart Seer.[8] Since he had appealed the ruling of the Tallinn district court, his punishment that had included the three-year driving prohibition was not yet in force at the time of the crash.