Former F1 star and two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner JJ Lehto could have to face a charge of manslaughter in his native Finland following the boating accident last summer in which his friend was tragically killed.
The speedboat in which Lehto and his friend were travelling collided with a bridge pillar close to Tammisaari on the southern Finnish coast [see separate story – click here
], leaving Lehto himself with head injuries.
The ex-Benetton and Sauber ace said that he had no memory of the early morning June accident, but he failed a blood-alcohol test and according to local media reports, police have now concluded that he was driving the boat when it crashed and as such should be held responsible for his friend's death – leaving him open to a manslaughter charge.
Lehto has already been fined for recklessness and for travelling at significantly over the speed limit at almost 40 knots in a five-knot zone, and he could also find himself prosecuted and sued by the family of his deceased friend.
Following a six-year F1 career in which his evident potential was never realised following a neck-breaking pre-season testing accident at Silverstone in 1994, Lehto turned to sportscars and touring cars, in which he achieved tremendous success. The 44-year-old has since worked as an expert grand prix commentator for Finnish station MTV3