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5 year-old boy hit and killed by minivan; driver arrested

25 Comments

A 5-year-old boy died after being hit by a minivan on a street in Tokyo's Setagaya ward, police said Monday, adding they ave arrested a 47-year-old woman who was driving the van.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 3 p.m. Sunday, Fuji TV reported that Takeru Shirai was leaving a parking lot when he was hit by the minivan coming from the right. He was rushed to the hospital where he died from cranial injuries.

The driver, Kotomi Hosoya, has been charged with reckless driving resulting in death. The road where the boy was hit is about 3.5 meters wide and police said there were no obstructions.

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25 Comments
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You dont know if thats what happened CrazyJoe. I was holding my 4 year olds hand one time walking along the sidewalk and a bicycle crashed into him from behind. There was nothing I could have done. If this street had no sidewalk the driver could easily have not been paying attention, drifted sideways and clipped him. Especially in Setagaya where roads are so narrow and no sidewalks.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Accidents happen, and this article doesn't contain any evidence that anyone involved did anything wrong.

The parents' fault? There's no mention here of the parents doing anything wrong. I remember a few months ago people were ranting about how children aren't animals and shouldn't have those harnesses on, but you'll see the same people here ranting about how parents must keep them under control at all times - completely ignoring the fact that a 4 year-old can wriggle free of a reasonably firm grip on their hand in a heartbeat.

The driver's fault? It would need more detail than is in this article, but the time it takes a 4-year-old to run 3.5 meters is not enough time to decelerate even a kei-car from 40km/hr to zero. And when you're dealing with a couple of tons of mini-van it could be lethal even at the lowest speeds.

I feel sorry for the child's parents. I feel sorry for the driver. Be careful with your kids (even if it means one of those harnesses - just ignore the haters). Be careful when driving. But even with the greatest care ... accidents can still happen.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Frungy: "Accidents happen, and this article doesn't contain any evidence that anyone involved did anything wrong."

I'm with Frungy on this one 100%. We have no details at all regarding why this happened, only the end result. A number of lives have been ruined by this, but we can't rush to judgement with the complete lack of details here. RIP to the little boy, and my heart goes out to the families of those involved.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

^CrazyJoe, where does it say the child darted into traffic? Were you there? There's any number of explanations for this tragic incident. Insinuating its the parents fault is ridiculous at this stage. Why didn't you write "And its your responsibility as a driver not to use your keitai". Same thing. But you have to make this in to a parenting issue.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

RIP little man

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Need more info. If parents werent within reach of the child they are also negligent unfortunately. The driver always getting the shaft is a very silly law in Japan. When they can prove the womans driving speed and what she was doing will determine what really happened with a little more accuracy. Drivers and parents need to pay attention more. That being said I don`t understand why 5 year olds are hanging out in parking lots.

@Frungy,

They can only wiggle free if you are being too lackadaisical. My 5 year old cant get out of my grip even if he tried. Grown man/woman vs. 5 year old? Come on. Give them a swat if they dont listen.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

5 year olds should not be running around freely, cant always just blame the driver. Full stop end of debate!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

pointofview - There isn't a single parent in the world who can truthfully say that their child never once managed to slip out of their grip. You're claiming that.

And I'm not blaming the driver. But I'm also not blaming the parent. Accidents happen. Which seems to be something you can't grasp - even though you claim your grasp is infallible!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Im not going to pretend I didnt screw up at least once

What? You're not perfect in every situation, all the time, without fail, for now and forever?

You aren't fit to be a JT poster.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Frungy,

I have three children, all boys. 5, 3 and newborn. I am much stronger than them and they cant break free from my hands if they tried. Commonsense. If you are in a parking lot or near a street etc. then you dont let your children wander away. These days however, parents let their kids control them and everyone is worried that if you scold them or give them a slight whack on the backside, when they dont obey you in situations like above, you abuse your children. take your pick- sometimes a little tough love or a dead child. I understand that children are adventurous and might not understand their surrounding but thats why they have parents. As sad as it is to lose a child, you cant go blaming drivers, who arent breaking any laws, if a kid jumps out in front of them and they hit them. Vehicles are heavy and basic physics will tell you that stopping on the spot can`t be done. The parents should be carrying some of the responsibility.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We cannot see through steel. However, you can leave children with a friend or babysitter. You can leave the groceries in the store while you strap your kids in their child seats then go back and get the groceries.

Now I KNOW you dont live in Japan! Friend where? In a different building? How do you get there in the first place with 3 kids? Or do you hit your neighbor up daily for some babysitting so you can go to the store?

Babysitter? In Japan??!

Oh! So you put the kids in the car seat and then leave them there in the car while you go back to the store and get the groceries? In the Summer too?

Look - all Im saying is be realistic. I am. Ive struggled along the street with the stroller and the two toddlers.And I know Ive done a good job of it beacuse they are all still alive. But Im not going to pretend I didnt screw up at least once and thank God nothing ever happened.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And its your responsibility as a parent to make sure that your small children aren't darting into traffic.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I remember a few months ago people were ranting about how children aren't animals and shouldn't have those harnesses on, but you'll see the same people here ranting about how parents must keep them under control at all times

I doubt it was the same crew saying both of these things.

Other than that, I agree with the rest of your post.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Living Memory and pointofview - Neither of you have children. Or you had children so long ago you've forgotten how a determined child lubricated with snot/juice/sweat/etc (and often a combination of all of the aforementioned) is more difficult to hold onto than a greased pig.

You're wrong.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I have three children, all boys. 5, 3 and newborn. I am much stronger than them and they cant break free from my hands if they tried."

How do you do it? Baby on back and the other two in each hand with an iron grip?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Ah so and Frungy,

Use your brains. Stop making excuses for degenerate parenting.

Ah_so, being illogical I see. First off I dont take three kids out to the parking lot and let them run around. There... problem solved. We dont yet know but this child could have been outside on his own without supervision which should equate to negligence on the parents part. Sorry, children aren`t disposable irrelevant things.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@NathalieB

But dont judge the rest of us doing the best we can.

That is funny because that is what I feel is being done to drivers!

We cannot see through steel. However, you can leave children with a friend or babysitter. You can leave the groceries in the store while you strap your kids in their child seats then go back and get the groceries. In fact you could probably ask a store clerk for assistance.

But this is precisely one of the troubles with Japan. People are too proud or shy or whatever to ask for such help. And kids die.

But the situation with cars is not going to change. It can't change until technology is introduced to detect the little ones out of the field of view of drivers.

And I am sorry, but no, parents are NOT doing the best they can, absolutely not. Parents may be swamped to the point they cannot see their options, but the options are there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pointofview - "Degenerate parenting"? So you're sticking by your earlier position that your child has never, not once, ever slipped out of your grip?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Readers, please stay on topic and stop bickering. Posts that do not refer to the story will be removed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its inevitable. You have young kids running home half on the road half off the road, non existent footpaths, and drivers that driving like they are the only person on the planet, either that or they are texting and lighting a fag all at the same time. Not the first case and wont be the last.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Frungy

completely ignoring the fact that a 4 year-old can wriggle free of a reasonably firm grip on their hand in a heartbeat.

Yes. And if that happens, its bad parenting, because you are supposed to hold them BY THE WRISTS in such situations!

Although truth be told I pick them up and carry them in high traffic areas.

Personally, I see little room to blame drivers for accidents like these. No matter how careful one is, it ranges from difficult to impossible to see four year olds from the driver's seat, especially in a parking lot or when exiting or entering one. Therefore, small children should never be free in parking lots. Ever. And the first suspicion should be on bad luck and bad parenting rather than placing drivers under arrest and stigmatizing them when voluntary questioning and court appearances would serve just fine.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Frungy, I have a child but he is obedient and calm. Still I hold his wrist in dangerous traffic situations. And if he were not calm and obedient? He would be on a leash.

As a driver I know that I cannot see through solid steel so as to see things less than two foot tall in parking lots. I have tried. If anyone knows where I can get the x-ray vision, please tell me. I would seriously like this ability. I don't want to hit a kid even if he or she does has an inattentive parent. And I certainly don't want to be arrested over something I might have only been able to avoid by riding a bicycle dozens of kilometers every time I need to go shopping or go to work.

Of course, sometimes I think we should bring back horse back riding. Especially if people are going to get the blame for something they cannot see while behind the wheel of a mode of transportation that cannot think for itself.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Frungy,

In a danger zone? No. And when they tried the first time, especially in parking lots and on sidewalks they felt my wrath and that was the end of it. Now they gladly hold my hand without any problems. Those are the rules. As I said, a little discipline to sort out the problem or a dead or badly injured child. Take your pick. Fortunately, my kids dont run the household and they still have a joyous life. Aside from that, lets wait and see what the situation was ie. was the parent even with the child, did they let them wander in the lot while they were packing up/ unpacking the car?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

She should have drived more carefully. The street is narrow but the scene isn't bad visibility.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Anyone else tired of holier than thou parents telling the rest of us we are doing it wrong?

Although truth be told I pick them up and carry them in high traffic areas.

Really??! When you are carrying that 5 year old, how do you manage the 3 year old AND push the stroller with the baby in it? Only one child? OK then, good for you. But dont judge the rest of us doing the best we can.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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