crime

3 killed in hit-and-run on Hokkaido highway

18 Comments

Police on Tuesday arrested a man in the hit-and-run deaths of three persons on a national highway in Kuriyama town near Sapporo on Monday night. The suspect, a man in his 30s, had abandoned his car and was arrested at his home early Tuesday, police said.

According to investigators, the suspect rear-ended a minivan, sending it into the opposite lane where it was hit by an oncoming vehicle at about 9 p.m. on Monday. Three passengers in the two vehicles died and have been identified as Rie Watanabe, 20, Tadashi Yokoyama, 67, and his wife Kinuko, 63. Another passenger suffered fractured limbs.

Police said the suspect smelled of alcohol at the time of his arrest.

© News reports

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18 Comments
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He 'smelled of alcohol'? So did they test him?

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If only he was high on some Hokkaido herb he would have been driving half the speed and all would be alive. They got it wrong don't they.

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I beleive a 'hit and run' involves pedestrians. Who traslates these? Its a case of 'fleeing teh scene of an accident'. If the penalties werent so Draconian here, people wouldnt flee. People get away with straight up murder for less. ALl the same, shame on him for running away.

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notimpressed

I also thought that hit-and-runs only refer to pedestrians but I just looked it up and yes, it can refer to hitting a vehicle and then refusing to stop and identify yourself.

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Hit and run can be for car accidents as well. A co-worker almost got kicked out of Japan for a hit and run he had with a parked car.

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He 'smelled of alcohol'? So did they test him?

Hey Smithy! Have you ever been in a random breath test in Japan? That is exactly how they test you. They just smell your breath. I guess it works for nihon-shu and sho-chu. Obviously the zero alcohol tolerance is not working. Everybody knows random breath testing is only done after 10pm. The cops have really got to start to get on top of the drink driving in this country.

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Drinking and driving is rampant here in Hokkaido. It is no small coincidence that Hokkaido has the highest number of traffic fatalities of any prefecture, and that with so few people is nothing to be proud of. Hicksville!

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The suspect, a man in his 30s, had abandoned his car and was arrested at his home early Tuesday, police said.

Not the brightest criminal this chap...

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OK, thanks for pointing that out.

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Unless the suspect admits to a DUI, he can say that he was in a panic, fled the scene, went home, and had a drink.... Which is probably the story this yahoo will probably end up using.

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Disillusioned: "Obviously the zero alcohol tolerance is not working."

Agreed. I've been tempted on a few occasions to think that a slightly higher alcohol level should be allowed -- say one drink or so -- but unfortunately there are all sorts of people where one drink is more than enough to impair driving to an extent. Regardless I'd say this is more an issue of the Draconian punishments than zero tolerance.

I am aware cops use the 'breathing' technique to 'test' people, and also that if someone flees the seen of the crime they cannot be tested for alcohol in their home until the next day (something like that).

Still... now he's going to pay the piper for more than the original crime.

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Obviously the zero alcohol tolerance is not working

In 1997, the number of alcohol related accidents and deaths are 21,289 and 1,240 fatalities. In 2007, the number decreased to 7,558 accidents and 430 fatalities, almost 1/3 the number of 1997.

http://www.npa.go.jp/toukei/koutuu48/H19.All.pdf

What changed? In September of 2006, Cabinet Office Director for Policies on Cohesive Society enacted a stricter guideline and called for more puglic awareness among the governments and police for DUI.

http://www8.cao.go.jp/koutu/taisaku/inshu/inshu_01.html

The above followed the amendement of the traffic laws (revised in Sept. 2007)

http://www.pref.iwate.jp/~hp0802/oshirase/kouhou/pikapojyouhouban/07-12gatugou/01.html

Results. In 2005, alcohol related accidents and fatalities totaled 13,875 and 707 respectively. In 2007, as mentioned above, 7558 and 430, respectively.

http://www.npa.go.jp/toukei/keiji36/PDF/H19_21.pdf

Obviously, it doesn't even compare to "zero alcohol related accidents" in (insert your country here) Sigh.

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god, never thought I wud ever agree with nigelboy, but the chg in the law has got "some people" to change/reconsider their drinking & driving & its clearly better than it was, so thats at least something.

As for locals doing the DUI, there are lots in Chiba as well, unfortunately the keystones mostly wait for something to happen then go out & see whats, what

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Such a shame. Drinking and driving is a menace all over the world, not just Japan, and there will never be a 100% effective method to make people refrain from driving while intoxicated. Still, there really needs to be some kind of marketing campaign in Japan about the dangers of over-imbibing, not to mention the dangers of drinking/drugging and then driving. I just feel like there's not enough understanding about how dangerous it can be, and I honestly hate that it has to be fatalities that get the conversation started.

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A breathalyzer test 4 or more hours after the accident isn't going to mean much as evidence. The accident was at 9 p.m. Monday night and he wasn't arrested until "early" Tuesday morning. As was pointed out, he could say he was so distraught after the accident that he went home and pounded a few drinks. (Who knows? It might actually even be true.)

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fadamor; What does it matter if he was tested 4 hours after the accident. Fact is he is accused accidently killig 3 people and left the scene of the accident. This by itself is a big problem for him. He needs a good lawyer.

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I agree, this is a lame translation, because hit and run, well sounds like they suspect here would have hit somebody on the side of the highway then escaped. This case is about a drunk idiot who caused a horrible traffic accident, being drunk while driving a motor vehicle then escaped from the scene of the accident to avoid arrest, so how about something like DRUNK DRIVER kills 3 on a Hokkaido highway??

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A hit and run is when a car hits a property, pedestrian, or another car and takes off, which is illegal (even if it wasn't your fault). It has nothing to do with hitting pedestrians and everything to do with fleeing the scene of an accident without identifying themselves.

notimpressed needs to should mock himself for lacking any grasp of this concept, while demanding others to intentionally mis-translate the term for his own edification.

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