Swedish snowboard star dies in training

Swedish snowboarder Jonatan Johansson died while training in Lake Placid in the USA on Sunday. During the last training run of the day he fell badly and doctors were unable to save his life.

Johansson was the most successful of Sweden’s snowboarders in the recent Winter Olympics in Turin, coming in twelfth place. He was in Lake Placid as part of the Swedish World Cup team.

“In the last training run the landing from a jump went badly,” said snowboard association director Ulf Nilsson.

“The jump itself went quite well but something made him lean forward, and he fell on the slope with the whole of his body weight forward,” Nilsson told Svenska Dagbladet.

The Swedish team captain Anders Wiggerud, along with trainer Lars Bergstedt, were at the scene and administered first aid almost immediately. Nearby doctors also helped but Johansson never regained consciousness.

The exact cause of death had not been established late on Sunday evening. However, Nilsson told SvD that it was simply an accident and that there were no safety problems with the course.

Organisers cancelled the competition. Other members of the team were said to be badly shocked and considering returning immediately to Sweden.

Jonatan Johansson, who came from Sollentuna but lived in Umeå, was 26 years old.


Risky makeovers for US cars sold in Sweden

Swedish road safety experts have warned that a new batch of damaged US cars has made its way to Sweden from Lithuania, with new paint jobs hiding potentially life-endangering mechanical flaws.

Risky makeovers for US cars sold in Sweden

As many as 61 percent of cars imported to Sweden from Lithuania last year had a claims history in the US, according a survey from Larmtjänst AB, a non-profit organization owned by industry organization Insurance Sweden (Försäkring Sverige).

“We discovered that American cars got a new identity in Lithuania, so we started the investigation,” Torbjörn Serrander, Larmtjänst investigator, told The Local.

The potentially faulty cars come not only from Lithuania. One in five of all cars imported to Sweden, regardless of the last port of call, has had claims taken out on them in the US.

From the US junkyard to Sweden, most of the cars are sent to Lithuania where the chassis is replaced. The vehicles end up looking sparkling new on the surface, but under the hood there can be critical damages, meaning unsafe products are being sold on the Swedish auto market.

Larmtjänst highlighted that a Swedish customer can look up whether a car has been deemed non road-worthy by a US insurer. If, however, the car has received minor damages and the previous owner chose to sell it on, the Swedish would-be buyer cannot access the information.

“Storm-damaged cars from Hurricane Sandy that suffered minor damages or water damage, and were not deemed totally wrecked, will, however, not show up if you make an information request,” Larmtjänst wrote on its website.

Larmtjänst warned Swedes looking for a second-hand car to look out for certain tell-tale signs.

“If the car is sold with only one key and no book (with vehicle details), don’t buy it,” John Erik Heed, Stockholm police investigator, told The Local.

“The airbag may not be there”

Last year, around 5,000 cars were imported from the US to Sweden and around 500 came from Lithuania to Sweden.

“Cars are put together in the wrong way so customers must check the car’s origins. If it has been exported from USA to Lithuania, the car is probably dangerous,” Heed said.

Elodie Pradet

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