crime

4-year-old boy hit and killed by car driven by 80-year-old woman

38 Comments

Police in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture, said Sunday they have arrested an 80-year-old woman on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in death after the car she was driving hit and killed a four-year-old boy.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 10:20 a.m. Saturday as the boy was crossing a two-lane road, Fuji TV reported. Police said Akiko Koide, a farmer, was on her way to do some shopping when she hit the boy at a point on the road where there is no crossing.

The boy was taken to hospital where he died at around 1 p.m. of severe head injuries. Police said the boy was with his grandfather at the time. 

The road is in a rural area with open fields on both sides. A sign posted near the accident site cautions drivers to slow down. Visibility was good at the time, police said.

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A sign posted near the accident site cautions drivers to slow down. Visibility was good at the time, police said.

It doesn't mean that any kids, especially 4 year old can go around or even cross road without any supervision.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

@sakurasuki

The article states the boy was with his grandfather, so had supervision.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

Feel sorry for the grandfather. Ultimately family and friends will blame him.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Without knowing all the facts, it is hard to know exactly what happened.Perhaps the boy ran out on the road.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

The article states the boy was with his grandfather, so had supervision.

With his grandfather perhaps his mother or father are doing something but not necessarily with his grandfather during crossing road accidents. So his grandfather just let him did dangerous illegal crossing?

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

Sad but I see this way too often on japanese streets. People of all ages just dashing out into traffic with zero situational awaress. People really should watch before they move into the road even when they have the right of way.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Road safety awareness really is poor. Pedestrian habits become cyclist habits become driver habits. As all three myself I see this far too often.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

With his grandfather perhaps his mother or father are doing something but not necessarily with his grandfather during crossing road accidents. So his grandfather just let him did dangerous illegal crossing?

Does it matter what the parents are doing? Maybe the parents are working or the grandfather wanted to spend time with his grandson. You made it sound like he was all alone, but he was in fact with his grandfather. We don't know what happened. The boy could have darted out or it is a road with no sidewalk/pavement so she didn't give proper spacing or she was distracted using her phone. You are assuming things without all the facts.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I find that in Japan, pedestrian road awareness is pretty lacking. People seem to just cross the road without first checking left and right. Drivers in Japan are also quite terrible, not to mention the menace cyclists that plague the streets.

Boy poor. RIP and condolences to the family.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

How can a 4-year-old child be accused of lacking "pedestrian road awareness"...?

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

purple_depressed_bacon Today  09:34 am JST

I find that in Japan, pedestrian road awareness is pretty lacking. People seem to just cross the road without first checking left and right. Drivers in Japan are also quite terrible, not to mention the menace cyclists that plague the streets.

You obviously haven't travelled very much in Asia.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Little boy,RIP.

I hear from May the senile test for drivers 75 and over will be reduced from a pass score of 76 points or over to a dumbfounding 36 points or over.

The reasoning being that since most Japanese frames are aged and need to drive if the test becomes too difficult there won't be any rice on the table in the near future.

Also,the guy who killed the young mother and daughter a couple of years ago in Ikebukuro scored 90 points on the above mentioned test,so the authorities are putting less emphasis on the exam results.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@kotonk

Here's the fact if both of them are together, grandfather will become victim of traffic accident too. In that case at least that kids in still under protection of his grandfather. For this case only that boy that become a victims.

The boy could have darted out or it is a road with no sidewalk/pavement so she didn't give proper spacing or she was distracted using her phone. You are assuming things without all the facts.

Here's another fact,

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/shutoken-news/20220319/1000078077.html

it's on the road and it's marked road, the boy just go to center of that road. That grandparents should be arrested for negligence too.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I think it is lack of consciousness from both side.

Unfortunately it is like that in Japan.

Moms driving bikes with their kids rush to home and don't even stop before crossing the street.

On the other hand - drivers who think that their are kings in a castle and everyone should stop before their cars.

People randomly crossing the streets, being on their phones.

This is true problem.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

From the few details provided, it sounds like all three people involved share blame: the driver, the guardian, and the poor unfortunate child.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

If you've been with 4YO you know how fast they are. I experience this with my own 4YO. They act in milliseconds. Therefore, I always keep my child left to myself where I can grab him before he does some dangerous thing. I see many Japanese parents don't do that. They keep the child to the right side (roadside) for some reason (which I hate to see). it looks like this grandfather couldn't cope with the speed. I understand that any driver should be responsible for the loss of life on the road, but there are cases drivers are really helpless. If the ball they carry rolled onto the road, or they think there is something cute on the road / other side of the road, kids do not think twice to jump in. A Tragedy.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

@Harry_Gatto you'd be wrong about that. I've traveled extensively in Asia and therefore my comment is based on my personal experiences. But hey, go you for making assumptions with nothing to go on!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

This was an accident. The driver didn't set out to knock the boy over, the grandad didn't push the child in the road. It was an accident that will affect the life of those involved for years to come. RIP little boy, you were loved

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Allowing a 4 year old to roam in the vicinity of automobiles is as negligent as allowing a 4 year old to handle a firearm.

As is seen over and over in this country, cars are extremely dangerous, and cause thousands of unnecessary deaths every year.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

It is easy to blame the 80 year old, but what the heck is a 4 year old doing alone on a road? If there was a grandfather, as someone said, he should kept the boy close to him.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

> This was an accident. The driver didn't set out to knock the boy over, the grandad didn't push the child in the road.

So why do pedestrian deaths happen so often? If it was an unavoidable accident do we do nothing to prevent them from occurring again?

Aren’t we collectively responsible for ensuring the safety of children in society?

The word accident is a crutch which absolves us of guilt.

There are no accidents. To say “shogannai” ensures that similar deaths will happen again. We could and should do more to prevent pedestrian deaths - we just need to be willing to de-prioritize the convenience of drivers. Instead we should actively dissuade and discourage it. Why? Because it kills kids is a great reason(among many).

Speed can and should be controlled and limited with available technology.

More should be done to dissuade driving - especially elderly people driving.

Separate all road users with better infrastructure.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@StevieJ - your comment about "situational awareness" was spot-on. Whether it's being oblivious about traffic when crossing the street, or failing to notice someone entering a store right on your heels (and just maybe holding the door open a split second longer, for them) or walking down the street or station platform with attention focused entirely on TikTok or Instagram or whatever, there seems to be close to ZERO 'situational awareness' in Japan, at least in my experience.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I wouldn’t blame the grandfather necessarily. And in terms of road safety, Japan is one of the safest places in the world. Try crossing a street anywhere in Southeast Asia. Even at a green light crossing nobody stops and it’s basically like cross your heart and hope not to die while you make a run for your life! Not exaggerating

3 ( +7 / -4 )

sakurasukiToday  07:51 am JST

"The article states the boy was with his grandfather, so had supervision."

With his grandfather perhaps his mother or father are doing something but not necessarily with his grandfather during crossing road accidents.

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

So his grandfather just let him did dangerous illegal crossing?

You seem curiously keen to assume that is the case.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As always, boy running alone.

Size matters and you see him at last minute.

You can't drive at 30km/h all the time !

Children must be supervised where cars are, especally car parks.

I shouted to to my 3 kids to scare them if ever they had gone too far from me where cars run.

I may simply have saved one of them from a stupid death and much sorrow for many. My duty.

Darwin's natural job alas.

RIP

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How can a 4-year-old child be accused of lacking "pedestrian road awareness"...?

Easy, as soon as your kid can walk, teach them to never, ever step into the road. Their little reptile brain will do all the heavy lifting once the gravity this message beds in.

.

Some sobering road fatality stats from WHO (2016; per 100,000 of population):

Ireland - 4.1 (of which Pedestrians 19%; Cyclists 5%)

Israel - 4.2 (of which Pedestrians 29%; Cyclists 3%)

Japan - 4.1 (of which Pedestrians 35%; Cyclists 15%)

Let's be careful out there.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Poor kid, people over 60 have no business behind the wheel.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

Poor kid, people over 60 have no business behind the wheel.

If this car had been driven by a 22 year old would you say, people over 20 have no business behind the wheel

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Maybe she was texting when it happened?

I'm glad my grandmother stopped driving when she did. Her attention drifted as much as her car, which was all over the road....

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It is easy to blame the 80 year old, who probably drove this route daily for years, perhaps she became to relaxed as we all do when we do the same things over and over but still this does not take away from her responsibilities of driving. A 4 year old has a lot of energy and his grand father perhaps let the little guy roam as he probably couldn't keep up with the little guy. Its a sad situation an unfortunate situation all around a little guy lost his life, an old lady gets arrested for suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in death and a grandfather who has to live with the thought of thinking he didn't do enough to prevent his grand some from getting hit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@El Rata - I'm 68 and functionally deaf. I was taught to drive both defensively and offensively by a professional who chauffered Generals and Cabinet Ministers. I drove Formula V racing cars when I was in my 20s and I've taught five young people how to drive. In my world, cars are weapons, and that's what I teach. I've also been in two accidents in my 50 years of driving - both of which were 100% the fault of the other driver. Both accidents totalled my cars and could have killed me if it wasn't for my reaction to what was happening. I lost two near-new sports cars (a Spitfire and a Lotus) in those accidents and it really pis*ed me off.

So do comments like yours. Don't "assume" that people over 60 shouldn't drive. You'd very quickly turn yourself into the first three letters of that word. Just as you did posting your trite little comment.

And as an aside, I visited Japan for 4-6 weeks every year from 2011 until 2019, and walked more than 15km every day, other than catching the odd shinkansen to the next place. I know all about the dangers of narrow Japanese roads, in cities and in the countryside. And I did all that walking while deaf. Funny huh? I'm still alive and kicking. And I'd kick your butt if you made that comment in my presence. Figuratively, of course.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The article states they were crossing the road when it happened but there was no crosswalk there. I don't like how they automatically arrest the driver in these situations and her age is not relevant until you can prove some sort of connection to the accident. Is the grandfather's age relevant? Maybe he was more at fault for crossing in that spot. Hopefully, we can find out. Vehicles can't just automatically stop if you step into the road suddenly and people need to be as attentive as possible when crossing ALL streets in ALL situations and use their senses. Look AND listen always.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

people over 60 have no business behind the wheel

We should remind you of that statement if you ever reach that age too. lol

In fact most people without a car, me included, are already messed up completely and nearly excluded from normal daily life already much below of that age because that is an private automobile society and everything is designed and created around it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is painful, hope the family get over it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the reasons we didn't bring up our kids in Japan is that pedestrians and vehicles are forced into being too close to each other through the narrow roads.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Happens far too much in Japan.

Very sad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There was a Japanese child fatally hit by his father last month. This is incredibly sad.

Yet, the series about Japanese children and toddlers doing things on their own running errands and travelling distances is a ratings' hit and encouraged. I realize this child was supervised and accidents happen, but children have no business being encouraged to be unsupervised where danger exists.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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