crime

1 dead, 4 injured after car plows into store in Tokyo

42 Comments

A woman was killed and four other persons seriously injured after a car hit them on the sidewalk and then plowed into a clothing store in front of JR Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo on Sunday night.

Police said Monday they have arrested the driver of the car, Shoichiro Kaneko, 53, on a charge of negligent driving resulting in death and injury, Fuji TV reported.

Kaneko, who is a doctor, was quoted by police as saying that he had no memory of the incident as he had been dozing off at the wheel at the time when he drove his car into a Zara store on the first floor of a building in Ikebukuro.

Five men and women pedestrians ranging in age from their 20s to 70s were injured. Of the five, Toshiko Ebata, 41, suffered a severe cranial fracture and died in hospital early Monday morning, police said.

According to police, Kaneko had been exiting an underground car park in front of Ikebukuro Station just before the accident. Witnesses said that he stopped his car for a moment, before then accelerating approximately 50 meters forward onto the sidewalk and then into the front of the shop.

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42 Comments
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Dozing off...while driving a car thru one of the world's most congested places? That's nuts, unless he has some sort of sleeping illness.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

**@jefflee 0- in which case he should probably not have been driving a vehicle.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I suppose that we will hear that this doctor taking one of those so-called "dangerous drugs."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Another one in ikebukuro, that place attracts a lot of accidents.

Still recall a car that parked itself in a popular cafe right next to one of the major pedestrian crossing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Witnesses said that he stopped his car for a moment, before then accelerating approximately 50 meters forward onto the sidewalk and then into the front of the shop.

That doesn't really fit with "dozing off at the wheel".

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If he was conscious and not on drugs, sounds like a suicide attempt in which he should have done so elsewhere on his own.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Cars in Japan kill about 3000 pedestrians every year yet no effective measures are ever taken to protect the vulnerable. Meanwhile, sharks haven't killed anyone in ages and look how everyone freaks out.

Crazy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought the doctor would be the last person to doze off at the wheel. Let alone drive his car into the store.

I still remember a similar incident occurred in Ikebukuro in Jun last year 2014. The driver was under the influence of quasi-legal herbs now being called kiken-drugs or dangerous drugs, if you will.

Hopefully, the doctor this time around has not used that kind of drugs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The ANN report says he was tired and so had a nap at the wheel. And that he forgot the whole thing. Boggles the mind.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Rest in Peace to the poor woman, and hoping the others somehow pull through. I read recently that going for a week on 5 hours sleep per night renders one at the same competence behind the wheel as being 0.1 Blood Alcohol Content i.e. several beers. This country comes down heavily on those who even drink one beverage and drive, so it is right that the penalties are equally harsh for drowsy drivers. Jail time is necessary in such cases.

Never, ever get behind the wheel while tired or drowsy!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If he was conscious and not on drugs, sounds like a suicide attempt in which he should have done so elsewhere on his own.

DaDude - Yeah, the old "Drive-out-of-a-parking-lot-and-hit-people-before-driving-into-a clothing-shop" suicide attempt.

Must be one of these a day in Tokyo alone...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

He might have a disiase like Sleep Apnea Syndrome, epilepsy or arrhythmia. He should undergo examinations.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Driving tired is just as bad as driving drunk.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Driving tired is just as bad as driving drunk.

Actually, I think its worse. Its just there is no "sleepy" test the authorities can apply in order to take your money with a fine.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just one of 3000+ pedestrians who will be killed by motor vehicles this year - but people are more worried about sharks.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Or he is a doctor who works idiotic hours and was sleepy due to it...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I use the same parking lot 3-4 times a month. It's underground and after paying you come up a spiral ramp to stop sign. You are forced to make a u-turn which would have you facing the Zara store that was crashed into. I have a hard time believing falling asleep at the wheel as he was most likely in his car for less than 5 minutes and you have to make it up the narrow spiral ramp even to get to the exit. He would have most likely crashed on the ramp. He probably mistook the gas pedal for the brake or hit the gas pedal to hard in the u-turn and lost control. Anyway, a very crowded area of Ikebukuro so it's fortunate that there weren't more casualities.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I had the same thought as nikkeiboy. 'Sleepy' is a understandable ('understandable', not 'forgivable' or 'acceptable'), excuse for someone who's been driving for multiple hours on a motorway. For someone just pulling out of a car park it doesn't make much sense. My 'JT judgement' is that he was under the influence.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Sensato

From the video, the car looks like Mercedes C250. From what the damage that shows in the front end of the car, he must've had it floored and been going at a high rate of speed for short distance. Police will check the sample of the blood and urine and determine if he was under the influence. Looks more like DUI and a manslaughter case. If you compare Japan's sidewalk to that of the U.S., they are too low or non-existant due to narrow streets.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The fact he stopped before the incident sort of points to a deliberate act and not a sleepy driver. I think his 'dozing off' excuse is just that, an excuse for a purposeful malicious act.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No just hit the wrong pedal and then panicked and hit it harder.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, I don't buy the 'dozing off' thing at all and him saying he has no recollection of the incident. If you're dozing you don't suddenly slam on the accelerator, and even if somehow you did, you don't CONTINUE 'dozing' after you've hit a few people and crashed, having 'no memory' of it whatsoever. The moment you felt motion change with the acceleration would would bolt awake (then perhaps fall asleep again, but still) unless you were under the influence of something or have a disease (in which case he shouldn't be driving).

I'm betting, and I have nothing to go on, of course, that he was self-prescribing sleeping meds or something and had taken some the night before and was still under the effects somewhat. Nothing to go on, again, but might explain it a little.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nikkeiboy

I was thinking the same exact thing. How can anyone fall asleep just minutes after navigating a car through a parking lot? I have a feeling that he's too embarrassed to admit that he mistaked the gas pedal for the brake pedal.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The doctor is probably overworked and is sleep deprived. He, being a doctor, more than anyone, should have known better. Any word about whether he helped any of the victims?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As I have posted so many times, no driving allowed after age 50. Over that age you are a danger behind the wheel.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

As I have posted so many times, no driving allowed after age 50. Over that age you are a danger behind the wheel.

Fifty? Why not make it 35, just to make sure all bases are covered.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@zurcronium 50? Why not just ban driving altogether, regardless of age? That way everybody will be safe.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

50 is to much, maybe ban it at 62

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Damn those automatic cars (+ drugs ?)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

there was no drugs or alcohol detected but he was acting erratic and aggressive just after the crash....it's a mystery RIP poor woman

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apparenty he just sat in the car after the crash and made no attempt to help the people he hit. Then he kept screaming "Nani ga warui n da!?"

Hard to translate but it means something along these lines: "How can you say I've done something wrong?" or "I've done absolutely nothing wrong!" or "What have I done wrong? Tell me, WHAT???" or "What the hell do you mean by bad?"

http://news.yahoo.co.jp/pickup/6171037

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A manslaughter charge might be appropriate when someone chooses to stay up all night, works all day, and attempts to drive home after being awake for few days. Voluntarily putting oneself in a position so that one cannot stay awake, and then driving, is negligent behavior and possibly even recklessness. He knew he was tired and should've called the taxi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As I have posted so many times, no driving allowed after age 50. Over that age you are a danger behind the wheel.

Judging from the age groups represented in crash statistics, we should probably ban driving UNTIL the age of 50.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It would appear that the doctor suffers from epilepsy and has been undergoing treatment for it. 'Epiletic fit' certainly sounds more plausible than 'feel asleep' as the cause this accident.

(Japanese) http://www.excite.co.jp/News/society_g/20150818/Jiji_20150818X768.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Did the doctor just come off a 24 hr. or more shift in the ER?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

He has been prescribed daily epilepsy drugs once a month for twenty years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe that makes it illegal for him to drive. They changed the law a while back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If your doctor certifies you as able to drive on condition you are taking your medication, then it is still legal.

They changed the law to come down more heavily on drivers who cause an accident through failure to self-medicate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

damn!! i know THAT INTERSECTION / THAT ZARA very well!! sad incident indeed!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

no driving allowed after age 50.

Seriously? How utterly absurd.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As I pointed out, he has a disease. The Road Traffic Law enable epileptic patients who have not had any seizures for more than two years to drive. But if the patients lie, the law is inefficient.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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