crime

1 cyclist killed, another injured by car going wrong way on national highway

29 Comments

A 68-year-old man driving the wrong way along a national highway in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward hit two cyclists, killing one and injuring another, on Monday morning.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 2:30 a.m. in Mukojima. Police received a call from a passerby reporting that two men had been knocked off their bicycles and were lying on the road.

Both men were taken to hospital, where one, a 67-year-old newspaper deliveryman, died due to a head injury. The other cyclist, a 27-year-old, suffered a fractured hip.

About 30 minutes later, police found a car three kilometers away in Taito Ward, with its headlights shattered and major damage to its front. The driver, Kiyoshi Sekine, was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving resulting in death. He was quoted by police as saying he had no memory of causing an accident.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
Login to comment

The victims were not "cyclists" in the recreational sense; they were working at 02:30, and using bicycles to deliver newspapers when struck by a drunken/distracted driver traveling in the wrong direction, against traffic.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Another elderly driver kills someone and there will still be people making excuses how it has nothing to do with age.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

@extanker - Another elderly driver kills someone and there will still be people making excuses how it has nothing to do with age.

It has nothing to do with age. It is to do with the individual. My parents are nearly 80 and they just completed a driving tour all around Tasmania starting near Sydney. Admittedly, they do not drive at night though. This elderly persons problems obviously go much further than cognitive for driving.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

extanker:

Another elderly driver kills someone and there will still be people making excuses how it has nothing to do with age.

Actually, the statistics do not agree with you. The peak accident group have been and continue to be young drivers. (I am not saying that licenses for elderly drivers should not be checked regularly.)

I this particular case, I would strongly suspect booze was bigger factor than age.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

@dothehustle

It has nothing to do with age. It is to do with the individual. My parents are nearly 80 and they just completed a driving tour all around Tasmania starting near Sydney. Admittedly, they do not drive at night though.

How can you say it has nothing to do with age while at the same time say that your parents don't drive at night? Why don't they drive at night? Because of their age.

@willib

Actually, the statistics do not agree with you. The peak accident group have been and continue to be young drivers. (I am not saying that licenses for elderly drivers should not be checked regularly.)

I never said elderly drivers are the worst thing on the planet. But they are a problem and as you agree, they need to be more regulated.

Not to mention, young drivers can improve skills with age and maturity (If they didn't improve, statistics would show adult middle age drivers as even worse.) On the other hand, elderly drivers' cognitive abilities can only decline.

Could this whole incident be alcohol related? Possibly. But I am inclined to think that it would have already been mentioned in the article.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

This is why I oppose the absolutist law which pushed cyclists to the road. Even in Tokyo at a time like that there were probably no people on the sidewalk and being there could have saved a man's life. Cyclists need to choose and be punished if they chose wrong, not ordered into potentially deadly situations by the decree of old men sitting in a Congress.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I can't say what the cause of this accident was. No mention of the driver being drunk just driving the wrong way along a national highway. It could just be that simple he was driving the wrong way and hit the two guys on the bicycles Or it could be night blindness, issues focusing on what he's doing, lack of motor skills. Or it could be he just needed three free meals a day, free room & board, free medical so he decided to drive the wrong way and hit someone with his car and go to jail where he'll get three free meals a day, free room & board, free medical. You just never know what a person is thinking.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is why I oppose the absolutist law which pushed cyclists to the road.

I prefer the road over the sidewalks. I would argue that they are safer. The problem are bad bike riders and drivers. Every person on the road here seems to believe that their time is more important; thus, they have the right away.

1) I see a lot jerk-type young guys and old oyagis purposely going the wrong way on their bikes on the streets in Tokyo. This annoys me because I ride my bicycle on the road following the flow of traffic. Observing my surroundings like I am also a car.

2) Usually, on the sidewalk, you have to watch for mothers on bikes with two children who believe that they have the right of way regardless of which side they are riding on.

3) The last are scooter riders that want the best of both worlds. They want to ride in bicycle lane or cut infront of automobile drivers whenever it benefits them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No memory, eh? Well, lots of time to think on it in prison, hopefully.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

National highway here means kokudo, a road that will have a generously-sized lane in each direction. This isnt just someone crossing the center line on a narrow road.

Hit and run means leaving someone for dead. It is completely inexcusable.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I saw the road on TV. There are 2-3 lanes in both directions with reasonable bike lane.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The driver is 68. He's not "elderly" in the sense that most people use that word.

My guess is he's just a careless idiot. Maybe drunk?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

How does a driver end up going down a national road the wrong way?  Drunk or stupid.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No memory of causing the accident and he was three kilometers down the road with the evidence all over his car.... does the no memory escape clause actually work in Japan?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@extanker - @dothehustle

How can you say it has nothing to do with age while at the same time say that your parents don't drive at night? Why don't they drive at night? Because of their age.

No, I'd say they don't drive at night because they are sensible and responsible. Therefore, the reasons for this 'accident' are stupidity and irresponsibility regardless of the driver's age.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Not to excuse this driver in any way, but many cyclists chose not to use lights at night. Line of least resistance?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Another ancient driver mows over innocent folks in his way. Old people, over 50, need to be restricted to driving during the day and only then with special signs warning others that they are impaired.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The deadliest place to be in Japan is on the roads or anywhere else that might be in the way of an unfit elderly driver. Anytime I'm on the roads and see a car with the elderly driver sticker on it I give it a very wide berth and a dirty look. They know themselves they shouldn't be on the roads

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Another ancient driver mows over innocent folks in his way. Old people, over 50, need to be restricted to driving during the day and only then with special signs warning others that they are impaired.

68 is not "ancient". The victim, by the way, was a 67 year old. Making newspaper deliveries. Still working, despite his advanced impairment. Did you notice that?

50 is not "old." By any reasonable person's standards, 50 is middle-aged. The vast majority of 50 year old drivers don't need to have signs put on their cars describing them as "impaired."

Not to worry, sonny. You'll find these things out when you leave school.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So it's not really a "highway" if there are charinkos on it. Kokudo, you don't say "National Road" ?

...year-old man driving the wrong way ...around 2:30 a.m

Whether it is age, stupidity, mental issues, booze or just being a sleeping zombie, that person should not drive. Too late.

Why don't they drive at night? Because of their age.

Or not. Most young people don't drive often at night. First reason, is you tend to be tired after a day of activity. Second one is you can see less even with perfect young eyes, so you need to drive slowler. Third reason is the proportion of driving drunkards/junkies your may encounter is higher around the hour when the bars close.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@BigYen

The driver is 68. He's not "elderly" in the sense that most people use that word.

He was "elderly" in the sense that the World Health Organization uses the word. 65 is old, I don't know why some folks take it so personally. If you are 65, you are old. When I'm 65, I will be old. I'm not going to take it personally.

@Disillusioned

No, I'd say they don't drive at night because they are sensible and responsible. Therefore, the reasons for this 'accident' are stupidity and irresponsibility regardless of the driver's age.

Yes, they are sensible and responsible. Great for them. But the reason that they have to be that way is because of their age. 20 years ago, it probably wasn't a problem for them to drive at night. Because of their advanced age, it is now.

Unfortunately many elderly people are not so sensible or responsible and the government must take that into account. I don't know why this is such an argument.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't know why this is such an argument.

Because most 68 year olds are perfectly capable of driving. And we don't even know anything about this guy yet. Except for the fact that he got arrested, so he obviously wasn't a big shot...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“zurcroniumAug. 13  04:13 pm JST

Another ancient driver mows over innocent folks in his way. Old people, over 50, need to be restricted to driving during the day and only then with special signs warning others that they are impaired.”

Racism & sexism are disallowed here, but ageism runs rampant. Ironically though, all you ageists are future victims, and will soon be ranting about the next generation of ageists.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

extanker:

WHO definition or not, I don't agree with or accept the application of the word "elderly" for a person in their 60s. I don't feel it, I don't look it, and no-one I know of that age does either, apart from one person who's had numerous health issues and can't even get in a car anyway. Coming as it does with perceptions of physical feebleness and declining mental powers, "elderly" is an insult for anyone of that age group who isn't actually ill in some way.

As far as the driving goes, I certainly do agree (and have so posted on several occasions) with the idea of a compulsory yearly test for those over, say, 75 years old. There have been numerous stories on JT that would make that idea a sensible one. All of them (that I can recall) have involved drivers in their mid 70s and older. With this story, we don't even know whether the offender's age was an issue - too many people here have just jumped to that conclusion.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He was quoted by police as saying he had no memory of causing an accident.

Did he at least explain how his headlights got damaged ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can the 27 year old with a fractured hip sue the driver for loss of work (monies), and medical expenses? It would be of little relief if the driver is arrested and put in jail, but then the victim has to empty his bank account to pay for extensive hospital bill, rehab and doctor visits, pharmacy bill, pain and suffering, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can the 27 year old with a fractured hip sue the driver for loss of work (monies), and medical expenses?

Well, people can sue for whatever they want, so the answer is yes. The question is whether they can win - and the answer is probably. Unless it is found to be the cyclists fault, but in Japan it's almost never 100% fault either way. So the driver is going to end up paying at least a portion of the expenses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wrong side of the road at 230am? I'm gonna throw all my chips in on drunk.

I'll just take my winnings in Sukiya gift certificates please.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

According to police, the incident occurred at around 2:30 a.m. in Mukojima.

The driver, Kiyoshi Sekine, was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving resulting in death. He was quoted by police as saying he had no memory of causing an accident.

That’s because Shochu-san, the pink elephant, was driving.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites