Jyrki Järvilehto and prosecutor disagree over who was driving speedboat when former FI pilot's friend was killed in 2010 crash
Victim’s widow recalls how Järvilehto’s wife suspected her husband of lying. Wife denies having said so.
The former Formula One driver Jyrki Järvilehto was convinced on Tuesday that he did not cause the June 2010 boating accident on a narrow stretch of water in Jomalvik, Raseborg, west of the capital, which led to the death of his friend.
This is despite the fact that Järvilehto’s recollections of what had happened were somewhat hazy.
Järvilehto remembered having enjoyed an evening with his friend in a restaurant in Raseborg’s Tammisaari and having left the place in the small hours of the following morning.
At the time the families of the two men were staying at Järvilehto’s summer home.
“All I can remember is that I was in the water and that I was about to drown there. Somehow I managed to get out of there”, Järvilehto told the Western Uusimaa District Court in Raseborg.
Based on the preliminary investigation material and what was heard in court, it became clear that Järvilehto had been consuming alcohol quite abundantly for several days in a row.
The day before the accident, the consumption of wine and beer had commenced already in the morning.
According to Järvilehto, customarily his friend drove the boat in connection with their jointly spent restaurant evenings.
He assumed that this had been the case also on the night of the accident.
The widow of the deceased friend reported to the court that Järvilehto had told his wife that the friend had steered the boat. According to the widow, Järvilehto’s wife had said later that her husband was lying.
When interviewed by the Finnish commercial television channel MTV3, Satu Järvilehto denied having ever said to anyone that her husband was lying about the circumstances of that night.
The prosecutor’s view is that Järvilehto was the one behind the speedboat’s wheel when the accident occurred.
”My view is based on the injuries sustained by those in the boat and how these injuries compare to the boat’s structures”, prosecutor Antti Sundberg said. Järvilehto was himself seriously injured in the crash.
According to Sundberg, before the accident Järvilehto’s blood alcohol level was at least 2.53 ppm and the man was driving his Searay 210 Fission boat at a speed of around 86 kilometres per hour along a narrow canal before crashing it into the upright of a road bridge.
The speed limit at the scene of the accident is five kilometres per hour.
The blood alcohol level of the friend who was killed was about 2 ppm. Finland has a limit of 1.0 ppm for drunken driving in the case of a motor vessel.
The prosecutor is calling for an unsuspended custodial sentence for Järvilehto for charges including aggravated negligent homicide.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Former F1 driver Jyrki Järvilehto charged with manslaughter in connection with June 2010 speedboat accident (26.8.2011)
Former F1 driver under suspicion following fatal boat accident (22.6.2010)
Jyrki Järvilehto (Wikipedia)