Trial begins in deadly Kuopio bus crash case

Four people were killed and nine others injured when the bus crashed through a safety barrier and landed on the railway tracks below.

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File picture of aftermath of Kuopio bus crash onto railway, August 2018 / Credit: OTKES

The trial begins on Monday for a bus driver who was behind the wheel when his vehicle was involved in a deadly crash.

It happened in August 2018 when a tourist bus carrying passengers from Sweden and Finland – members of a karaoke club – crashed through a motorway barrier and fell onto a train line below.

Four passengers were killed and nine others seriously injured. The driver, born in 1951, is charged with aggravated road safety, four counts of causing aggravated deaths, and 13 charges of injuring people.

The official accident investigation, completed in April 2019, concluded that the driver’s alertness was lowered by his state of health and the long drive he’d had that day.

The investigation also found he had little experience of driving the type of bus involved in the accident.

Although the driver failed to break as he was taking the motorway exit, the accident investigation team from Otkes found there were no signs telling vehicles to reduce speeds, and the view of the intersection was hampered by trees.