Motor racing-Former F1 driver JJ Lehto freed over boat crash

HELSINKI Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:52pm GMT

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HELSINKI Nov 30 (Reuters) - Former Finnish Formula One driver and Le Mans winner Jyrki Jarvilehto, who raced as JJ Lehto, has been released from all charges relating to a drunken boat accident in 2010 which killed his friend.

The court of appeal in Turku on Friday said it was not clear whether Jarvilehto or his friend had been driving the boat when it hit a bridge support pillar in southern Finland.

He was last year sentenced to two years and four months in jail by a district court, which said the victim's injuries indicated he was a passenger and Jarvilehto was the driver.

Jarvilehto appealed the sentence, saying he was sitting in the back of the boat when the crash happened.

The 46-year-old Finn drove in Formula One between 1989 and 1994. His best result was a third place in a Dallara Judd in the 1991 San Marion Grand Prix. Jarvilehto won the Le Man 24 Hours race in 1995 and 2005. (Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Alison Wildey)

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