crime

6-year-old boy dies after being hit by car; 78-year-old driver arrested

34 Comments

Police said Monday they have arrested the 78-year-old driver of a car that struck and killed a six-year-old boy in the parking lot of a chicken farm in Nishitomioka, Kanagawa Prefecture.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 11 a.m. on Sunday. TBS quoted police as saying that the boy, identified as Yuki Takakuwa, had gone to the farm with his grandparents to buy eggs. Police said he was hit by the car that suddenly accelerated without warning. The boy was taken to hospital but died about two hours later, police said.

Police said the driver of the car, Isao Ito, was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was quoted as saying that he mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.

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34 Comments
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And once again more proof that seniors should not be allowed to drive. RIP, little boy.

-13 ( +11 / -24 )

another one....

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Please define "seniors," Smitty. Over 60? 65? Just where do you arbitrarily draw the line, and in the process deprive millions of folks of their basic freedom of movement? What's next? Bicycles, since these, too, injure and sometimes kill pedestrians? How about those motorized carts?

And while you're at it, please tell me how many similar accidents are caused by drivers in their 20s and 30s? Why don't we just make it illegal for anyone of any age to drive? Your suggestion is not only impractical, impossible, ageist, undemocratic and dangerous, it's just plain foolish.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

Why arrest him? He's 78 and will never go to jail. How about taking his license.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Saw the same thing in America a few years ago, but the driver was 98, and his license was set to expire when he was 104.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I think the blame lies more with "automatic" cars... There have been several accidents of "mistaking" the accelerator for the brake pedal in the "automatics", regardless of "age". Might be a better idea to go back to manual cars.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

R.I.P

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's bad news for humans I think seniors should not be allowed to drive, because he don't drive properly. What's your opinion guys? TheIndianRepublic

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Wow, no one wins in this one. So sad for both driver, boy, and families. Sorry to have read this.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I wonder if a smart car that detected an object in front of the car could have overriden the accelerator and prevented this accident?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Senior citizens are liability in this country. They should have to undergo a drivers test every year to maintain their driver's license.

Poor kid...snuffed out way too young.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The old 'hit the gas instead of the break' trick. I have no qualms with seniors driving. Most of them have more experience than the younger ones, but I do think they should be out through a competence test two or three times a year. Sad story for the family of the kid.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@FightingViking

It used to be that everyone was required to be able to drive manual, but nowadays now they have the automatic-only license, they're are so many bad drivers who don't know how cars work. I actually saw an old woman run her car straight into a light pole over the weekend. I was absolutely stunned because if that pole hadn't been there she would have ran me over. And she had the absolute nerve to laugh about it.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I don't care how old he is and whether it was an accident or not. He deserves prison time at the minimum, could care less if he dies in prison.

RIP to the boy, not the old man

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

oh no, this again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ben4short: "Please define "seniors," Smitty. Over 60? 65?"

I'll answer your questions when we read about the next death tomorrow caused by a senior who mistook the accelerator for the brake. I mean, we read these stories, what... how many times a month? Yeah, once in a while we also hear about young people drunk behind the wheel who plow over some people, or trucks speeding through stop lights, but it's not as frequent, and not the same. A six-year old killed by a man whose life is practically over. But hey, I'm being agist, right? not factual. And guess what? due to his age he probably won't see much if any prison time -- so who's being agist?

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

I actually agree that ANYONE who is the cause of someone's death should be arrested. I think it should be done so that certain things can be checked out immediately, such as being under the influence or perhaps a medical condition. Also, they need to be questioned thoroughly to determine any negligence, etc.

I do NOT agree that there should be an automatic prison sentence. That doesn't even make sense. While I think this is tragic, it doesn't necessarily mean criminal. It could be criminal negligence, but that has to be determined. Why would you imprison a person who made an error in judgement. Certainly, he needs to atone for his lapse, but prison is just the wrong stance to take for an accident.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

FightingViking is absoluetly correct: Autotrans cars facilitate such judgement errors. My spouse made a similar error in her 20's, though thankfully didn't injure anyone. Dependence on autotrans cars encourages these types of accidents, very sadly. A tragedy for both families.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Sadest part of this Story is that a Family has lost a Child, a Mother a Son, and during the time that being young enjoys the innocence of life and as such brings happiness to the family though his mere simplicity at looking at things.

The old guy, could have been anyone of any age - look at the stuck accelerator cases in the US. Did he Willfully go out of his way to run down that Child ?

I know that had that have been myself in the car, how I would have been feeling.

Life "sucks" (is bad) sometimes. That's no consolation, but it's a truth.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Smith,

I'll answer your questions when we read about the next death tomorrow . . .

Your cute little dodge simply proves the ridiculous nature of your proposition.

Whether the driver does time or not is completely irrelevant. You simply want to make a carte blanche law prohibiting anyone above a certain age from driving a car. This is reactionary folly.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

jonobugs: "I do NOT agree that there should be an automatic prison sentence. That doesn't even make sense. While I think this is tragic, it doesn't necessarily mean criminal."

But do you agree that he should be automatically let off because of age?

ben4short: "Your cute little dodge simply proves the ridiculous nature of your proposition."

Not at all. Your cherry-picking of my posts, though, does that for you.

"Whether the driver does time or not is completely irrelevant."

Tell that to the family. Seems pretty relevant to me.

"You simply want to make a carte blanche law prohibiting anyone above a certain age from driving a car."

And you simply want to put morality above practicality. I understand why it's an issue to say seniors (let's put the number at 70 years old, shall we?) shouldn't be allowed to drive, but it does not take away from the fact that many, many accidents occur because seniors lack the reaction time to avoid accidents like this one -- or make very stupid mistakes. I agree with the testing they have at present, but it is not enough. Should seniors be allowed to work a firehouse because if they cannot it is 'agist'? I mean, forget about if they cannot physically do it -- it would be immoral to deny them the chance, right? Shouldn't they be allowed to go fight in Iraq or some other war zone?

This man who killed the six-year old probably only yesterday would have argued his right to have a license and drive a car. I doubt he's thinking about that today.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Much stricter regulations on senior driving must be enforced. With so many other means of transportation available there's no reason for this tragedy to have happened. Prayers to the boy, his family especially his grandparents. Can't imagine what they must be going through.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I do NOT agree that there should be an automatic prison sentence. That doesn't even make sense. While I think this is tragic, it doesn't necessarily mean criminal. It could be criminal negligence, but that has to be determined. Why would you imprison a person who made an error in judgement. Certainly, he needs to atone for his lapse, but prison is just the wrong stance to take for an accident.

Until it is one of your family members...........

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Such a tragedy that a young child was struck down so early in life. Also a tragedy that some here believe age was the sole factor in this child being hit. Most senior I see driving are doing well under the speed limit and take longer to make turns and change lanes. This was just an accident as it is being reported. Some here believe that they will be 21 (12 by some comments) forever and make these foolish comments about senior wherever the opportunity arises. Most seniors drive slower to get to point B safely opposed to those a bit younger with a smart phone in hand speeding with children in the car unrestrained. RIP little one.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Surely they can program the cars computer chip to automatically break or slip into neutral when a car suddenly accelerates hard from stand still position. Perhaps only in elderly peoples cars. Another option is to re-test drivers periodically after they reach 60. I'd even advise it for my own parents. I'd prefer they didn't drive if they weren't able to do so at a safe standard.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

When you are that old and you THINK you "Mistakenly pressed the gas pedal for the Brake" That means its time for you to start walking!!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

R.I.P Yuki Takakuwa!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I don't support a blanket ban preventing seniors from driving but it's worth noting that while, younger drivers may cause the majority of accidents, time, experience and development of the frontal cortex improve the driving skills of most young people. After a certain point for seniors however, the opposite is true as reaction times slow, hearing and vision decline and age-related cognitive decline occurs - the latter for some though not all. Rather than a blanket ban, more frequent testing of and stricter regulations for those above a certain age would seem to be the practical and fairer solution.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ben4short

I agree with some of what you say, but I dislike this phrase:

deprive millions of folks of their basic freedom of movement

Not everyone is 'free' to drive a car. They need to prove their competence in their handling of a vehicle. Not everyone is equal.

I know it's semantics, and I appreciate the fact that young people probably cause more accidents than the elderly (before anyone gets the wrong idea), but little things like that bother me.

On topic, though, this is a terrible accident, and one that will haunt all involved for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, no one can predict or prevent such lapses of judgment or memory. The most we can do is be careful around parking lots and driveways, but even then, sometimes it's just a matter of bad timing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Brake always left, gas pedal always right, how can you forget that?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I do NOT agree that there should be an automatic prison sentence. That doesn't even make sense. While I think this is tragic, it doesn't necessarily mean criminal. It could be criminal negligence, but that has to be determined. Why would you imprison a person who made an error in judgement. Certainly, he needs to atone for his lapse, but prison is just the wrong stance to take for an accident.

You don't have to have malicious intent to commit a crime. That's why he is being charged for involuntary manslaughter (which is still a criminal offense) and not murder. What if it had been a gun and not a car that killed the child? What if he was polishing his gun and it went off and killed someone? By your definition, since its an accident then he should be let go? Or, what if he killed not one child but many children with his car? We all know that he didn't mean to kill anyone, but the fact of the matter is is that some is dead because of his actions.

"$#!T happens" is not an excuse to break the law, and he does needs to be responsible and held liable for his actions. Having false compassion because of his age and just giving him a slap on the wrist and letting him go so that he can drive again and possibly hurt, maim, or kill another person is ridiculous and the reason why the Japanese justice system is so backwards.

I don't know any more stupid proof they can make cars these days. They park themselves, stop themselves, lets you know when the car in front of you has moved, etc, and yet people's driving habits continue to get worse. The brake pedal on automatic cars are bigger, and in a higher position than the accelerator. Its practically designed so that if you do make a mistake, that you hit the brake FIRST, and yet people still continue to make this mistake. IMHO, of you can't tell the difference between the brake and accelerator, then its time to turn in the license and and buy a bus pass.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think its important to create new regulations to have those over 70 year to have annual check up with Dr. to get approval to drive. Those over 75 need to get this every six months.

RIP little boy!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

****senior drivers must undergo more stricker traffic regulations.we can't just say 'im mistaken the brake to kill ,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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