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Ex-F1 star Lehto may face manslaughter charge

Michael Schumacher's former F1 team-mate JJ Lehto could find himself having to answer a manslaughter charge after Finnish police concluded that he was driving the speedboat in which his friend was killed last summer
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.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tom Kristensen/Marco Werner/J.J. Lehto celebrate victory in the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Mika Salo explains his Le Mans experience to fellow Finn JJ Lehto
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JJ Lehto, Team Cadillac, Sebring 2002.
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Mark _

January 26, 2011 5:57 PM

I have a friend who killed another friend of mine in a single car drunk driving accident years ago. While it is easy to blame the driver, in my opinion the victim shares some of the responsibility too. They were most likely drinking together and both made the fateful decision to get behind the wheel. The passenger and the driver both knew the risk. Whatever the courts do to him will be nothing compared to the loss of his friend.

swarf69 - Unregistered

January 26, 2011 3:07 PM

Think about it, failing an alcohol test and speeding? if i did that in a car and my friend was killed i'd deserve prison. All because he is famous and it's a boats should not make any difference. Poor JJ?! i think not. Poor JJ's friend and his family who may no longer have a Dad or Son. They are the ones who gets my sympathy.



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