Police investigate JJ Lehto after boat crash

JJ Lehto

JJ Lehto

Jun.22 (GMM) Police are looking into a boat crash involving former formula one driver JJ Lehto.

It emerged at the weekend that the 44-year-old Finn, who drove for teams including Sauber and Benetton until 1994 and is now a commentator, swam ashore after the six-metre boat struck a bridge pillar at 4am last Friday morning.

Lehto sustained head injuries and broken ribs, but the other occupant of the boat did not survive.

According to a report in Finland’s Turun Sanomat, Lehto failed an alcohol breath test, and police suspect he might be guilty of other offences, including speeding in the narrow channel.

Locals said the boat belonged to Lehto, and an eyewitness who initially treated the veteran of 70 grands prix said he thought the Finn was drunk.

A police superintendent is quoted as saying Lehto might be charged with safety offences, including culpability for the death of his friend.

“Some kind of offense is suspected, but I am not taking a position until it becomes clearer who did what,” officer Juha-Pekka Vuorinen, who said Lehto had undergone surgery, is quoted by Ilta-Sanomat.

And Vuorinen is quoted by HBL: “We cannot interview someone who is still strongly medicated. The doctors say he could be discharged (from hospital) in a week and then we will hear from him as soon as possible.”