crime

4-year-old boy fatally struck by station wagon in Tokyo; driver arrested

29 Comments

A four-year-old boy died after being hit by a station wagon in a residential neighborhood of Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward on Tuesday afternoon. Police said the driver of the station wagon, Yasuhiko Seta, 47, has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in death.

According to police, the child, Takumi Fujiwara, was lying on his stomach on a skateboard when he slipped off it at an intersection with no traffic lights just past 1 p.m., Fuji TV reported. Police said the boy was crushed beneath the station wagon and was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest. He died two hours later at a hospital.

Police said it appeared that the boy may have been dragged for about seven meters.

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29 Comments
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Why was a four year old out on a road unattended? With a skateboard.

His parents better have a damn good reason why.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

Not a lot of detail. Like, was the kid zipping down the hill and slipped off just in front of the oncoming car? If so, it there is there real possibility the man didn't see him. That said, if the kid was indeed dragged down the street seven meters it's indicative that after the initial hit, which you would have felt, he didn't stop immediately or was going too fast to. In any case, RIP to the young boy. I'm seeing skateboarding coming back in a lot of areas, and in some of them you can actually see signs that clearly say "no skateboarding". Helps if safety rules are enforced as well.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

It’s child and parents fault .. the parents should be arrested .. in Japanese news they said the car stopped in stop line and after that it departed ... why always blame drivers and arrest them ?? Japanese law system is crazy and confusing

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Child's lives matter!

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Tragic for all involved. In UK law there is something called “contributory negligence” where the actions of one party mitigate those of another. An example of this would be letting a four year old use a skateboard on a public road. Sadly in Japan, the driver who probably had no chance to stop as young daredevil shot in front of him, will get convicted and have his life ruined.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

It depends on the speed, of course, but dragged for seven meters means the driver stopped the car within one second from hitting, at 20km/h, which is a pretty good reaction time. I'm sure he'll be released without charges, as I don't think he wasn't paying attention.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

This is negligence. Parents are at fault! Because of this, the driver's life is ruined, and its all because the parents left the child to play alone in the streets.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

This driver has not (yet) been charged. The driver is always arrested pending police investigation ..... unless you're a politician, or connected to the police force it would seem from past articles.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If a responsible driver sees a little kid laying on a skateboard he/she would slow down or stop. They would not continue past at speed.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

This driver has not (yet) been charged. The driver is always arrested pending police investigation

Yes, but think of the mental damage of knowing he killed a small child. That could really cause serious mental problems for the rest of his life, and all of this could have easily been prevented had the parents been more responsible.

> If a responsible driver sees a little kid laying on a skateboard he/she would slow down or stop.

i don't know what kind of road this is, or what the speed limit is, but no one would normally expect to see a small child lying in the middle of the road, nor should they. This is a result of neglegence on the part of the child's parents or caregiver...PERIOD

8 ( +9 / -1 )

“was lying on his stomach on a skateboard when he slipped off it at an intersection ...”

.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The parents are being charged with child endangerment, child neglect, wilful endangerment of a minor or something equally as significant ? Should better damn well be !!!

They should be , after all they are the guardian and should be held responsible for the safety of the child, make other careless parents sit up and take notice , where are your kids, what are they doing, who with, who is looking after them ?

My sympathy to the poor car driver probably doing everything right and bam next thing he is in a terrible situation because of some irrespsonsible careless parent , probably busy on their damn mobile phone looking at a game or texting.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I live in Setagaya and see drivers in general speeding, looking at phones and running red lights. Cops, of course, are nowhere to be seen until an accident happens. When I used to drive, I thought Ghosh forbid, I hit someone, so I was always watching even for kids who may do something unexpected. It seems the attitude of many drivers is so long as they follow the law they have no liability if a kid or person inadvertantly gets in their way. I even have heard engines revving higher when I jaywalked as if they are trying to hit me to teach me a lesson. Oh well, been in Japan too long.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How about people, and especially parents, in Japan be held more accountable for their actions? What the heck is a kid doing laying on his stomach on a skateboard in the middle of an intersection?! How about the parents actually doing some parenting ffs.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I am not sure how busy of an intersection it was, but in Tokyo on side streets it is common to see kids of all ages playing in the street, kicking balls, playing catch, riding bikes, skateboards, etc. They usually move to the side when a car comes and usually the car slows down. Keep in mind there are NO lawns or yards to play in here. I live by a big park so always bring the kids there.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Parents Negligence Pure and simple, The driver should be released and the parents should be held accountable. I hope he is set free soon.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I don't see why they arrested the driver when the real culprits are the parents and the people who decided to not put stoplights at the intersection, although that may not have prevented this accident. A 4-year-old is too young to be out unsupervised.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why was a four year old out on a road unattended? With a skateboard. 

The article doesn’t say he was unattended.

A lot of people are jumping to conclusions and condemning the parents based on very little detailed information. This was in a residential neighborhood and the kid may have simply been playing in front of his house, as most kids in this country do since most houses don’t have yards, when he slipped off and the car hit him before the parents could intervene because the driver was either going too fast or simply not paying attention. It happened at an “intersection” without any signals which in most residential neighborhoods are very quiet and drivers should know that they have to drive carefully since they share the roads on those streets with pedestrians and cyclists, many of whom are children.

I don’t know that it happened like that, but given that the driver was arrested for dangerous driving I’d say it is a reasonable possibility.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bad call. This is one of my biggest fears. Some irresponsible parent making their kid die under my car.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kids running in car parks, running into on coming traffic, running wild, says to me kids are not under proper control or being cared for properly if they were, mom would be holding their hand and looking after them , mom would be caring for them and protecting them FFS, parent or negligent charge them as such , I beg the cops to.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This accident happened a few blocks from where I live. I don't know if this driver was speeding or not or looking at his cell phone at the time of the accident, but there are too many cars driving fast and carelessly through our residential areas. I am always nervous for the kids on my street.

So on our block I started teaching the Kids to yell out "Car Coming!" when they see a car, They are happy to shout in English and all the kids now stop when someone shouts this regardless if they are riding a bike, skateboard or Kick bike etc. until the car passes by.

I wasn't at the scene, but don't be quick to blame the parents, I'm sure that it happened in front of their eyes... Kids all play in the street in front of their house with parent(s) watching. I hope his older brother didn't witness the accident.

I hope there will be more police out to stop speeding drivers through the residential neighborhoods.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“was lying on his stomach on a skateboard when he slipped off it at an intersection ...”

...wtf? Where are his parents? Why aren´t they arrested?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Police said the boy was crushed beneath the station wagon and was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest. He died two hours later at a hospital.

"This should read: Police said the boy was crushed beneath the station wagon and was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest. He was declared dead two hours later at a hospital."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why are so many people here demanding that the parents should be arrested and are so sure that they were not doing parenting or neglecting their child? I wonder if you actually live in Japan and understand the environment here enough to make such firm judgements. It is very common for kids to play outside in Japan without parents accompanying, even though it is true that this child was too small, but someone mentioned that his mother was with him. And the article said it’s an intersection without traffic lights in the residential neighborhood. This is very common in Japan, as these roads don’t have much traffic, probably few cars every hour, but the rule is that the driver has to stop in front of it even when it is obvious that there is no one crossing in front. Small roads in Japan don’t have traffic lights all the time, but cars still need to stop when there is an intersection. And roads in Japan cuts through each other a lot so I have seen a lot of drivers actually skipping that step. So before blaming the victim and the parents for letting kids play outside you should consider that there’s a possibility the driver was not careful too. Keeping your kids home protected all the time doesn’t mean accidents would never happen.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I once saw a toddler in diapers wandering unattended along a road in Kamakura. The poor boy was crying and calling for his mother. I brought him back to her, while she was having a chat with a group of friends. She didn't make a fuss after I returned him and carried on yakking with her friends. I felt like throttling her. This incident doesn't surprise me in the least

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ann Today 03:06 am JST

Why are so many people here demanding that the parents should be arrested and are so sure that they were not doing parenting or neglecting their child? I wonder if you actually live in Japan and understand the environment here enough to make such firm judgements. It is very common for kids to play outside in Japan without parents accompanying, even though it is true that this child was too small, but someone mentioned that his mother was with him. And the article said it’s an intersection without traffic lights in the residential neighborhood. This is very common in Japan, as these roads don’t have much traffic, probably few cars every hour, but the rule is that the driver has to stop in front of it even when it is obvious that there is no one crossing in front. Small roads in Japan don’t have traffic lights all the time, but cars still need to stop when there is an intersection. And roads in Japan cuts through each other a lot so I have seen a lot of drivers actually skipping that step. So before blaming the victim and the parents for letting kids play outside you should consider that there’s a possibility the driver was not careful too. Keeping your kids home protected all the time doesn’t mean accidents would never happen.

Ann I have lived here for over 25 years I have grown children who were raised here, I understand completely how it is, do you?

Parents are responsible for the care and well being of their children !

Who ever was meant to be caring for this child was not careful enough, that is obvious.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why was a four year old out on a road unattended?

According to local news reports, he was with his grandmother at the time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fuji TV did a CG simulation - it is very likely that the kid lying flat on stomach on skateboard, is in the driver's blind spot, just like any adult pedestrian very close to a cement truck.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It never fails to surprise me how kids run riot in public but as they grow up they are forced to such stringent conformity. Needs to be the other way around, teach them logic, common sense and road safety when they are young so they can fly when they are grown.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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