Suspect admits she killed 12-year-old

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One of the two suspects charged in the hit-and-run accident in western Norway earlier this month that killed a 12-year-old roller skier has admitted that she was driving the car that struck young Olav Hovda. His family was relieved that the uncertainty surrounding the case is apparently over.

The 42-year-old woman, charged and jailed by police and a local court last week, had repeatedly denied guilt in the case, as did her 43-year-old husband. Both had a record of prior convictions, including drunk driving and fraud, and were arrested after their car was found at a repair shop not far from the scene of the accident in Klepp, Rogaland County.

Alone in the car
Now the woman has confessed that she was alone in the car, according to a press release from the police. “I can only confirm that the owner of the car, the woman, says she was alone in the car and that the accident occurred at Laland (in Klepp),” the local sheriff Hans Kyllingstad told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Tuesday afternoon.

Kyllingstad said her confession came during questioning over the past several days. Her husband remains charged in the case, he told NRK, as police had continued their investigation.

Pastor Aslak Tveita, who’s been acting as a spokesman for the victim’s family, didn’t want to comment on the confession. “We’re still preoccupied with handling the sorrow and taking care of the family,” he told NRK. “We have confidence that the police are handling the investigation in a fine way.”

Øystein Hus, the publicly appointed lawyer for the family, said the Hovda family “has expressed that it’s good that the uncertainty around who drove the car now appears to have been clarified.”

Nationwide sympathy
It was the woman who had delivered the damaged car to the repair shop the day after the hit-and-run accident on the paved road where Olav Hovda was out skiing with his father on the evening of January 4. The owner of the shop earlier told newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad that she had called him late that evening, saying she needed to replace her car’s windshield.

Police had already collected enough physical evidence from the car and the damaged windshield that tied it to Hovda’s death. They had said they were certain her car was involved in the accident.

The accident dominated Norwegian media for several days and sparked sympathy from all over the country. It also has sparked calls for more dedicated paths for roller skiing, a popular sport in Norway, to help keep roller skiers off dangerous roads.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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