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11-year-old girl killed after wheel loader hits kids with impaired hearing

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rest in peace little girls

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Racing to beat the red light?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

"..pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal.."

Let's make sure that excavator drivers know how to differenciate gas pedal from break pedal, please.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Terrible

But, is excavator the right word here? They're not allowed in city traffic.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

But, is excavator the right word here? They're not allowed in city traffic.

If it has a license plate, it is allowed, just like cranes and other construction equipment.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

FizzBit - a good point. I do not see an excavator in the photo and one would typically not have a license plate - it would be transported atop a trailer pulled by a truck.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Really sad. RIP little one. Hope your family gets through this very difficult time. My thoughts and prayers with you.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The police quoted Sano as saying he mistakenly pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal when he was trying to stop the vehicle as the traffic light turned red.

I actually knew two persons who made the same mistake... Both had accidents.

Plus, people systematically passing when the light is red...

Poor kid. RIP.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

FizzBit - a good point. I do not see an excavator in the photo and one would typically not have a license plate - it would be transported atop a trailer pulled by a truck.

The article improperly says excavator; from the picture it's a loader. And the plate place is hidden by the traffic pole, so it's hard to say if it's not allowed on the road.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't think that I have ever mistakenly pressed the brake instead of the accelerator or vice versa, having passed my driving test.

it seems that this individual was not properly trained to operate this type of vehicle.....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Tragic..another little one , RIP .

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sad accident, I’m sure all involved feel at fault. Child is my kid’s age, so the impact is strong. Yet, here in Southern California - we’ve a girl the same age who has shot other kids.

Deepest condolences to friends and relatives of the dead and injured, may you be safe from harm.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

'Running the red.' immediately springs to mind, but that's pure conjecture. And those pedals can be pretty close together, especially with workboots.

Anyway. RIP and a speedy recovery to those injured.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No excuses folks for hitting someone with any vehicle. Whether that be close pedals, workboots, blindspots, weather...anything!!

If you are not 100% at one with your vehicles controls then slow the heck down!!

No excuses...

And having seen how many of these types of vehicle...and the general attitude to red lights (and we have all seen this!)

He was going too fast and not in full control. My money is still on racing to beat the red light.

.....and I don't buy his excuse either.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

In my experience (living in Japan off and on over twenty years), the operators of these types

of heavy equipment seem to have an "Indifferent" attitude towards those around them while they drive / operate these monstrosities. I was just in Chiba last week, and some guy came barreling down the road going well over the speed limit in something the same size as that pictured above. This fatality comes as no surprise.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

i really hate seeing these large construction vehicles on the roads in japan. they should be banned and only transported by trucks. several years ago a guy with epilepsy was driving one of these monstrosities, had a seizure and plowed into school children walking home killing several of them.

go home and hug your kids tight tonight.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

maybeperhapsyes

I'm with you, but you know, 'Innocent (for lack of a better word) until proven otherwise,' and all that. I was in a car with a girl who got the wrong pedal, once. Luckily we were in a parking lot, and all we hit was a wire fence.

If you are not 100% at one with your vehicles controls then slow the heck down!!

That doesn't really make sense but I see what you are saying. How about simply, slow down and be very careful!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't think that I have ever mistakenly pressed the brake instead of the accelerator or vice versa...

mother-in-law did and hit my son. If he hadn't jumped he'd be dead too. Those poor kids deserve better.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

are 2 peddles really so complicated for folk? rip little one.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Some of you have decided he was going too fast, or he was trying to make the light, but in either case he would have continued straight forwards along the road.

The question must surely be, why did he veer to the left and mount the walkway?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

nandakandamanda

Under-steer? Turning right on the arrow?

Can't tell the circumstances from one photo.

RIP to the victim.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Kobe White Bar Owner - are 2 peddles really so complicated for folk? rip little one.

Spot on mate!

That machine is called a, front end loader.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sevenseas, good point. Agreed. A horrible accident for all concerned.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So sick of this. Another child dies because Japan's cities are jam-packed with heavy cranes, diggers, loaders, huge trucks and concrete mixers, all running red lights and speeding in narrow streets to keep up with insane work schedules. Congratulations Japan, you're killing your children in the pursuit of profit.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

That machine is called a, front end loader.

Thanks. I didn't study the pic, just scanned for an excavator and didn't see one.

If it has a license plate, it is allowed, just like cranes and other construction equipment.

I've never seen an excavator or a front loader traveling down city streets before. I think you're wrong but it's not that important.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There are so many words being used to describe this type of machine. Wheel loader, excavator, shovel car, what is it?? I learned at school that its called a front end loader.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is heartbreaking. Rest In Peace.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I doubt he made the mistake, he was probably trying to beat the red, like so many maniacal truck drivers do. RIP to the little girl. Lock this guy up.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just read an article quoting the driver following who said that the machine in front suddenly accelerated. He mentioned that the front bucket was full of sand, but I cannot see any sand in that shot. If it was, then I can see why the guy would have had trouble steering such an unwieldy load. One of the neighbours was complaining that construction had been continuous around there and construction machinery was moving around even when schoolkids were travelling to and from school, which would lend serious weight to Civitas's comment above.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As always the truth is somewhere else again! Watch this and secide for yourself what the guy was thinking/doing. 

The front loader stopped, backed up and then for some reason swerved left, according to this traffic camera. The police are trying to work out what actually happened as his narrative does not fit the camera shots.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20180202/k10011312311000.html

Surely more to this story.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

PS secide = decide!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another fatal accident - another one NOT caused by a senior driver!

And what does the kids' impaired hearing have to do with anything?

From the photo it looks as though they were on the sidewalk, separated from traffic by a hedge.

Hearing ability has nothing to do with walking on a sidewalk.

It would be sufficient to state that they were walking home from school with their teachers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@nandakandamanda -

Thanks for the link. From the video, it would appear that his story of mistaking the peddles is correct. However, if this idiot does not the difference between left and right he should not have been driving the loader at all. He should be standing around deciding whether to use a left or right handed shovel.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I know a lot of people who mistook the pedals at least once, myself included. In most cases they realized the mistake just as they were about to step on the pedal. And of course most of them refused to admit the mistake. You know, the 'everyone's a bad driver but me', or 'I'm better than the average driver' mentality...

But JT commentators truly are better drivers. They must be, judging from their comments. If only everyone (or at least, the Japanese) could drive like the well above average drivers here on JT...

By the way, "if this idiot does not the difference between left and right he should not have been driving the loader at all." The word 'know' was left out. By accident no doubt. Accidents happen, you know...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

nanda- thanks for that.

Not 100% clear, but it at least rules out the barreling along running red light theories that abound.

He may or may not have been extremely negligent, but as a once-upon-a-time driver of tractors and loaders for a landscaping business, i can attest that foot slips / misses do happen. The pedals are usually much heavier and have a longer travel than car pedals.

Not making excuses, but if you've only ever driven a car and never operated heavy machinery, buses, trucks, forklifts etc, then you wouldn't know of the differences. A pedal is not just a pedal.

We'll need to hear more to make a clear decision on the direct cause.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is just me thinking about it, but this seems really fishy. I suspect the driver was probably checking his phone or doing something else and not paying attention to driving. How could he accidently press the accelerator if he was driving? His foot would aready be on it.

The police quoted Sano as saying he mistakenly pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal when he was trying to stop

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There seems to be a lot of discussion on the vehicle.

It is a Komatsu WA 30-5 in summer configuration. Why the canopy it is open around the driver.

You can see one here at this link.

https://www.goo-net.com/usedcar/spread/goo/10/700030260930171118001.html

If you look at the pedal configuration. Very hard to misunderstand the gas pedal from the braking pedal as an experienced operator.

The operators story is an excuse. The police know it. Japan society knows it.

And an innocent little girl has been taken from her family for just going to school and trying to further herself.

May you fly with the angels and find peace little one. Gone to soon.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Plus, people systematically passing when the light is red...

and look where it happened, Osaka. Osaka, passing through the red is culture unfortunately.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

RIP little girl. The tragedy would not happen if it was mandatory to install an automatic collision avoidance system on every vehicle. This system is very simple, much simpler than a full featured self-driving system, and it would save many lives taken by idiot drivers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Quick summary from the traffic camera footage. It looks as though he got halfway through the just-turned red light, but people started crossing in front of him, so he slammed on the brakes. Still in the middle of the crossroads, he tried to back up a little, but I think he was already entering panic mode as he then selected forwards, with the loader already out of kilter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@kikai - By the way, "if this idiot does not the difference between left and right he should not have been driving the loader at all." The word 'know' was left out. By accident no doubt. Accidents happen, you know...

There is a large difference between leaving a word out of a sentence and running over a group of kids. Neither of them are accidents! They are both carelessness although, the former did not result in the death of an 11 year old girl!

@kikai - But JT commentators truly are better drivers. They must be, judging from their comments. If only everyone (or at least, the Japanese) could drive like the well above average drivers here on JT...

I've been driving for over 40 years (16 years in Japan) and have driven just about everything, 40 ton cranes, 18 wheel trucks, tractors, loaders, bobcats, cars, 4WDs, motorbikes and I have NEVER mistaken peddles! I guess I should also add, I have never had a road accident either. And, I don't consider myself lucky. I consider myself cautious, not careless.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have NEVER mistaken peddles! I guess I should also add, I have never had a road accident either.

Good for you, but perhaps neither had this guy until now. I'd never fallen on my ass before in my decade in Japan until this morning when I slipped on some ice.

I'm not saying this isn't a tragedy, and that the driver shouldn't receive whatever punishment is appropriate (for negligence, careless driving or whatever) but I feel that this can be described as an accident. A horrible, tragic one sure. But an accident nonetheless.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nakanoguy01

go home and hug your kids tight tonight.

Best advice I've heard all day

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Disillusioned.

Applause. Very well said. I as well have the same history. Not with heavies but with super-cars.

Drive something everyday. You not suddenly get dyslexia in the feet.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Same here. Got my license with the military. Done my advanced with the police.

Been driving for 30 years and riding bikes like...forever.

These front loader machines are lethal. You'd never get away with putting "teeth" on your car and call it street legal.

Horrible accident. and for this fella to use a lame and well used excuse like getting the pedals mixed up is an insult to the child he killed.

Man up for what you did. Beg forgiveness and take whatever punishment comes your way!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Slickdrifter - thanks for the link to the picture of the tractor. I was actually thinking about how most of these small tractors/loaders usually have separated pedals, so it's left foot on the brake, right foot on the gas. That seems to be the case for this one as well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Different vehicle but...

While this seems like an uncommon event, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that an estimated 16,000 accidents resulting from pedal errors occur each year. This number means that, on average, 44 accidents occur each day as a result of the driver confusing the gas for the brake.

https://www.peakefowler.com/accidents-caused-by-pedal-errors/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know a lot of people who mistook the pedals at least once, myself included. In most cases they realized the mistake just as they were about to step on the pedal. And of course most of them refused to admit the mistake. You know, the 'everyone's a bad driver but me', or 'I'm better than the average driver' mentality...

I've been driving for more than 40 years, and I have never mistaken the accelerator for the brake pedal or vice versa. Ever. It would be like confusing the climate controls for the navi, or the trunk/boot for the hood/bonnet.

I've made other driving mistakes that I complain about the "bad" drivers doing. But, I admit when I do them, and try to visually apologize to the affected driver or pedestrian, if possible, when I do.

By the way, "if this idiot does not the difference between left and right he should not have been driving the loader at all." The word 'know' was left out. By accident no doubt. Accidents happen, you know...

Yeah. But, but a typo on a blog never killed anybody.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

incompetent idiot!...Frankly I am not buying that stupid excuse. I would search his person for cell phone and see if the last text corresponds with the time of the accident

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@RiskyMosaic

Those stats are more likely of elderly people driving average cars NOT trained and skilled 35 year olds driving specialized equipment!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@disollined. you seem so cool, i also have such experience bar cranes. 35 years no accidents apart from rally driving.

i think that the lack of staff in japan is "driving" companies to hire inexperienced workers, and next will be foreign workers. forgot elderly workers.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Mirai Hayashi

Possibly. Some evidence would certainly strengthen your assertion though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have mixed thought about site plant being on the road, all cars front bumpers and that area are now are made smoother and out of flexible plastic so that if a pedestrian walk out in from of a car, there are no sharp jugged edges which cause injury but a soft plastic bumper bows, and give thus absorbing most of the impact. but a front end loader like this is solid plate steel which is the complete opposite Ive driven this sort of plant on building sites over the years, driving them around, the viability is not to good, so 1: you can drive with the bucket up in the air, 2: low to the ground, as you can see in the photo, but its the solid steel bucket that comes into contact with the pedestrians, unfortunately pedestrian don't come out of the scenario very well. really these peaces of plant need to be moved by a lorry that is designed to go on the road. In the UK you need training to go on the road with these pieces of plant, I don't know about Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

really these peaces of plant need to be moved by a lorry that is designed to go on the road.

This equipment does not drive down city streets. Honestly, I can't understand why anyone would think they do. Anyway, the median in the road was having major work done on it. It was not a building construction site. No way to avoid it having contact with streets, cars and pedestrians. Best solution is to do it night

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry for being stupid, but how did he end up on the sidewalk ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One answer to avoiding trajic accidents like this is sensor technology. Although improving all the time, there is obviously a need for further research into this.

My deepest condolences.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As a 'gaijin' man I can't really tell how this really came about. In my country we drive in the right lane, not the left. Still, this looks really messy and my deepest condolences go the little girl's survivors and the injured. RIP LITTLE GIRL - you died way too young and your life never got off the ground. :'''''(    (emoticon of crying face)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mmwkdw, quote: "Sorry for being stupid, but how did he end up on the sidewalk?"

Good question.

See my post of 2 Feb 10:19 am.

Then watch the video at 11:16 am yesterday.

Then come up with a theory.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a 'gaijin' man I can't really tell how this really came about

He was in the left single lane, trying to cross a street and go right to the median of the road where the construction was being done. The light changed, so he had to back up, out of the way of oncoming cross traffic. He then needed to pull forward and straighten out. This is when he lost control/messed up, The wheels were still turned left from pulling forward trying to straighten the front loader, quickly accelerating to the left. That's how he ended up on the sidewalk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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