crime

10-year-old boy dies after being hit by car on way to school

28 Comments

A 10-year-old boy died after being hit by a car while he was walking to school in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Thursday morning. A 9-year-old boy was also hit and suffered light injuries.

Police arrested the driver of the car, Kazuhiro Sano, who is a 29-year-old junior high school teacher, NTV reported.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 7 a.m. on a narrow road near Katahama Station on the JR Tokaido line. The children were at the edge of the crossing at a T-junction when they were hit by the car, police said. They were taken to hospital where the 10-year-old boy, Eito Shimano, was pronounced dead.

Witnesses were quoted by police as saying that Sano's car crossed the center line. After hitting the children, the car rammed into a brick wall outside a house, NTV reported.

Sano, who told police he drove about 40 kilometers to and from his school each day, was quoted by police as saying he was exhausted and lost concentration.

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28 Comments
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Either he fell asleep at the wheel, or he was texting. Check his cell phone records.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Thoughts and prayers for the victim's family. What a terrible loss.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Every parent's nightmare.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Ah, the usual japanese drivers who swerve around people crossing the street rather than stopping completely until the crossing is clear.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

I'm totally shattered for the boy's family. I also have a ten year old boy who catches a train to school in Numazu. As a worry wart parent I'm constantly reminding him about safety. Kids lose concentration at the worst possible times. What you can't do much about though are situations like this where adults are at fault. It's such a nightmare. My thoughts are with the lad and his loved ones.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Very sad. One fact that is brought out in Japanese courts is that the driver is the professional, not the pedestrian nor the cyclist. Drive "ahead" of your car. Be alert for the unexpected. Expect the unexpected.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The punishments for causing people's death by using your car inappropriately have to be made much more severe, you KNOW that you can kill people. If you drink and drive, drug and drive, if you text and drive, if you do NOT pay due care when you drive AND because we know that cars kill people... QED.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Driving a car is a privilege and not a right! Too many drivers think they own the roads. I've been clipped by cars three times in recent years and each time the driver didn't stop. Once I threw my full coffee can at the car and put a huge ding in the back of it, but he didn't stop cos he knew he was in the wrong. However, I don't blame the drivers directly. I blame the passive policing policies of the J-Cops. They currently have their spring safety campaign going and instead of dishing out fines and suspending licenses they are giving out tissues and 'stern' warnings. I've felt safer getting around the streets of Ho Chi Min city than in Tokyo.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

After hitting the children, the car rammed into a brick wall outside a house, NTV reported.

WTF was he doing? Was he drunk? Gotta look this one up...not enough detail here

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Let's face it. Most people here don't stop at pedestrian crossings. I've stopped many times for people to cross only to have the car coming in the opposite direction not stop.

Still, I tell my kids that when they walk to school they should assume that even if they are walking where they should, there will always be bad drivers, drunk drivers, texting drivers, idiot young men who speed and think they're tough, and then many even drivers who have a sudden heart attack. iow, your life can completely change or even be over in just a few seconds.

Many pedestrians here don't think about cars. And visa versa.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Police are saying the driver may have fallen asleep. At 6:50AM? Poor little Shimano-kun... his elementary school principal said that he was bright, active and had lots of friends.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Unfortunately, this wasn't a matter of the driver just going through a crossing. The two boys weren't even in the crossing. The were standing on the side of the road by the crossing. The driver crossed the center divided, narrowly missing crashing into oncoming traffic, and slammed into the wall where the kids were standing. He had no business being on the road. Poor kids.

animation of the incident here: http://www.fnn-news.com/news/headlines/articles/CONN00266431.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

sensei: "Either he fell asleep at the wheel, or he was texting. Check his cell phone records."

Or, 1) it's hanami season and the guy was drunk (ie. after a night of drinking and not recovered). Or, 2) it's hanami AND shin-nendo enkai season and the guy was drunk. Either way, or if for different reasons, he still killed a kid, and he needs to pay the piper. RIP to the boy, and glad the second will recover.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@disillusioned

are you kidding me?! how biased against the cops can you be? the only person at fault here is the driver. how do you think the police could have prevented this accident? by...having psychic powers? give it a rest already.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In 3 years in Tokyo I believe I have made at least 30 bumps in cars with my feet because they did not stop at zebra crossing. 70% of them were taxi and none of them stopped to complain...

Bottom line: hard sentence for the drivers not respecting pedestrian crossing or removal of the zebra crossings.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Rickyvee - perhaps you are not familiar with the term, generalising. Yeah, this mullet was probably texting or had a newspaper draped across the steering wheel, but the point is, these wombats have been getting away with this crap for many years because of the passive policing policies. How many cars can you count in one hour running red lights? How many cars can you count in one day speeding through side streets? How many cars can you count in one day driving recklessly? How many kids' faces can you count planted on the windscreen with no seatbelts? How many mothers do you see nursing babies in the front seat of the car? The list goes on and on! Driving is a privilege, not a right!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow, do I ever feel for that mother. Seeing your own kid killed in an accident has to be horrible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That's what's bound to happen to anyone that doesn't know to look both ways before crossing the street. You can never count on cars to notice you for you. Parents need to teach their kids this basic lesson in personal responsibility: Look both ways! Crossing or none!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

That's what's bound to happen to anyone that doesn't know to look both ways before crossing the street.

And the fact that they WERENT crossing the street and were simply at the SIDE of the road when the car swerved across the road and slammed into them? Had they been on the crossing they would probably have been fine.

Wondered how long it would be before someone blamed the innocent victim for the drivers idiocy.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The position of the kids at that crossing is irrelevant. They could be at the edge or in the middle of the crossing; they could have been walking or running across the crossing -its all irrelevant. The car has to STOP or slow down enough so that the kids have a chance to get out of the way because he was approaching a CROSSING. Basic traffic law 101 -pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Really tragic, especially for the families, friends, and teachers of the boys involved. My thoughts are with them.

''Basic traffic law 101 -pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.''

When I first moved to Japan, I actually looked up my local traffic laws as a pedestrian because so many drivers here seem to fly through pedestrian crossings whether someone is there or not or if the pedestrian has a green light to cross. Even being hyper vigilant has yielded close calls. Pedestrians seem more like obstacles to drivers here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@AngieStars

We all know and feel that people who run across streets without as much as looking up to see if a car coming, is "intuitively" wrong. But the fact of the matter is, the law cannot interpret what we feel emotionally. It creates too many loopholes where people who are truly liable for someone's death, can get away with it by simply pleading that the pedestrian ran in front of them. So they created a more technical and somewhat draconian law that says that the pedestrian unconditionally and ALWAYS has the right of way.

I personally have had a drunk cyclist run right in front of me when I had a green light on my side, and he had a red light. Luckily for me I was driving slow enough to where i could stop before hitting him, and he had the nerve to yell "ki o tsukero!" as he rode off.

Strictly interpreted, had I hit him, and caused serious injury or death, I would have been arrested and sent to jail. But the law "tries" to be fair, and given the situation the courts would "probably" grant leniency in my favor. Perhaps I would have had to pay a heavy fine or have my license taken away for a while, but would not get prison time, IF I could prove without a shadow of a doubt with police reports, witnesses, or other undeniable evidence that the cyclist was drunk and situation was completely unavoidable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

RIP to him and condolences to the family.

This case was obviously the driver's fault as it was at a crossing and he has admitted his guilt.

People here, who probably only walk or bike ride to and from the station, need to get behind a wheel too to understand that pedestrians also cause trouble too. I have had many near accidents with pedestrians shooting across the street with no crosswalk in sight. A lot of pedestrians seem fearless of cars especially if you live in the Kansai area.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The mother of this boy was standing across from the street, she walked with the boy to the crossing, she made sure that the boy and his friend crossed the road safely - AND this happened right in front of the mom's eyes. There was nothing these boys nor the mom could do to prevent this because they WERE being safe. I don't know what ANYONE could say to this mom who witnessed her own child being hit right in front of her RIGHT AFTER she made sure that he was safe. There is nothing the driver can do to make this mom (and the boy's family) feel better.. even if he gets life in prison (he probably won't), even if he pays billions of yen (he probably won't).. nothing can cure this poor mother who lost her son this way. Rest in peace boy, please comfort your mom from heaven.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@fishy

It's not murder, premeditated, or intentional, (unless he was drunk, or knowingly has some kind of condition that impaired his driving ability), so he won't get life. My guess is that he will only get 3 to 5 years (or less, since this is Japan) or a suspended sentence. But yeah, nothing will make things better. He has effectively irreparably ruined many people's lives in a single moment of indiscretion.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

as a parent we can only feel deep sadness for the loss of a child, so we can all sympathise with the childs parents, RIP little one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

None of us were there, so none of can be sure what was the best course of action. But it has to be said that Japanese people are notoriously unaware of their surroundings and rather unwilling to move out of the path of danger. Not to take any blame away from the driver, but, I sure wish schools would train the students to be more aware and take measures for their own well-being. Many times I have jumped over guardrails just because I thought a car was coming too close.

I don't like it when people are so defeatist as to say there was nothing they could have done. Again, it takes no blame from the driver to suggest that increased awareness and willingness to move could save your life.

I also wish they would stop having students bow to traffic after they cross the road. They should not waste one second getting away from the road and this accident shows you why.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

it has to be said that Japanese people are notoriously unaware of their surroundings and rather unwilling to move out of the path of danger. Not to take any blame away from the driver, but, I sure wish schools would train the students to be more aware and take measures for their own well-being. Many times I have jumped over guardrails just because I thought a car was coming too close.

This was on a road with no guardrails, and a solid ~2meter rock wall on the side. The boy was crushed between the wall and the car. There wasn't anywhere to escape to, unless the kid was a ninja who could jump 2meter walls.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

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