crime

63-year-old man killed in hit-and-run in Mie

31 Comments

A 63-year-old man was knocked down by a car while he was walking along a street in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture on Sunday night, police said, adding that the driver of the car fled the scene.

Police received reports that a man, whom they later identified as local resident Masami Nishida, had been the victim of a hit-and-run incident at around 9:40 p.m. Police said Nishida was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Several local residents reported seeing a white car fleeing the scene.

© News reports

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31 Comments
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Surprised this doesn't happen more often here. You're driving under the speed limit, being careful, and some old oyaji who's had a few one-cups, steps out from a side street and bang. Even though you are completely innocent, Japanese law puts the blame on you and you'll be paying for it for the rest of your life. Terrible system.

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On the other hand, the "Ozeki One Cups" may well have been consumed by the driver of the white car that witnesses reportedly saw fleeing the scene of this accident.

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Poor guy. Yes, as long as Japanese law puts the blame on the driver regardless of circumstances people will flee in most cases. Not at all backing this action. Just seems to be the first thought of most accidents here.

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What if the driver, victim, AND witness all had a few "One Cups". Highly feasible.

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I'm pretty sure I would flee the scene if it were me.

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Poor fella and family. No excuse for driving off ever, take responsibility for your actions. May well have not been the drivers fault but the simple fact is that you hit someone and left them for dead, unforgiveable. When people stop driving cars like dodgems maybe this will stop happening, whats the point in undertaking, tailgating, ill see you at the next set of lights anyway (you`re never more than 1km from them over here)

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"Several local residents reported seeing a white car fleeing the scene". No one saw the cars number?

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Regardless of how the law places the blame, leaving the scene shows a craven and inhumane side which should haunt the driver forever. If the victim was dead, then leaving the scene shows no sense of responsibility for one's actions and no compassion for the victims family. Leaving the victim to die....well, what can I say.....it's the most abhorrent behaviour in this scenario.

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If the driver was drunk, that cannot now be proven.

If you hit someone you then have three seconds to make an immediate choice of a) hit and run with no alcohol provable, and maybe escape if you're very lucky, (but you'll probably get caught) or b) manslaughter under the influence, but no attempt to flee. Which penalty will be heavier in Japan? Do you do the right thing, or take the pragmatic approach?

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It's never okay to drive away. Not. Acceptable. The penalties are rough and I completely sympathize when it's moments where it really couldn't have been avoided or was an accident that was no fault of the driver's-- but the minute you drive away is when there's no one to blame but you. You have the final say in that choice in whether or not to leave another human being on the pavement as you speed off into the night or stop and get help.

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Most of the old people in my neighborhood prefer walking on the street than on the sidewalk. It's quite bizarre. So I'm always careful, even when I'm driving way under the speed limit.

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Kokorocloud - well said.

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KakiOko, Kokorocloud, yes, but is the law weighted enough to encourage people to make the only right choice? At the moment it seems that too many try to flee...

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Well, folks, lets say the penalty for hitting a pedestrian, regardless of who is at fault, was a bullet to the head? Would the driver be to blame for running then? Well, the penalty is not a bullet to the head, but some of the stories I have heard, you may well wish it was. You will be put through absolute hell from what I hear, and have personally witnessed the keystones and their absurdity. I am not about to stop to hear the last gasping words of some idiot who jumped in front of my car and then have my life ruined for trying to save him. I will leave playing the noble fool to others. The day I know for sure a pedestrian who is at fault will be held responsible, or my life will at least not be ruined for accepting fault that is not mine, is the day I become an unflinching good samaritan. I stop to get rocks and chunks of wood out of the road too cause I know only I will until they kill someone. I do care for my fellow man, don't think I don't. I am just not throwing my life away for the actions of an idiot. Sorry.

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cactusjack, even if the driver was drunk, how does a pedestrian not see or hear a car coming? It does not sound like the car jumped up on the sidewalk, does it? Even when drunk, I like life so much I pay attention and get out of the way of cars. Pedestrians not so attached to life (and most of the ones who get hit don't seem to be) are not worth causing such a fuss over. Drivers should be careful, but if pedestrians are not then more needless accidents will occur than the other way around. A pedestrian is like a matador and a car like a bull. 99 percent of the time the matador can avoid the bull with a simple sidestep, else there would be no matadors left!

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talking2U, what if instead of hearing his last gasping words you actually managed to save him? Or is the sound of a body bouncing off one's car an instant write off? In a moment you've decided that his actions were idiotic and that his injuries/death is not worth your facing the authoritites. The way I see it, your life is ruined from the moment you speed away with only a moments acknowledgement of what has happened - as that decision will haunt you forever. At least, it should. Whether you hit a pedestrian or a pedestrian hit you, the fact still remains you were party to his injury/death and should stand accountable.

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It does not sound like the car jumped up on the sidewalk, does it?

There probably was no sidewalk. All traffic shares a clumsily, half-hearted attempt at a trail covered with a paper thin layer of asphalt, torn up numerous times every year.

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They don't have any more info, that's why. There were no witnesses, yet "several local residents reported a white car fleeing the scene". How do they know the car was fleeing if they didn't witness the accident?

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talking2U, what if instead of hearing his last gasping words you actually managed to save him?

Well, that would be nice, but they would still make the accident my fault even if totally his and that would still mean a lot of damage to me. I have a family to take care of and taking the blame for reckless idiots is where my nobility ends.

In a moment you've decided that his actions were idiotic

Well, maybe you could explain to me how a person gets hit by a car? I have had some near misses walking and I know perfectly well they were my fault. A driver can't hear anything and can see much less than a pedestrian. I had to jump back a couple times, but the thing is, a pedestrian has that option. On narrow roads I stop and get out of the way as much as possible. Anyone who doesn't is an idiot. There is a small chance it was all the driver's fault, but all things considered, its a small chance. Even people who play chicken with cars don't usually get hit. Careful drivers don't save the lives of careful pedestrians. They save the lives of careless pedestrians, but only sometimes. Usually when one gets hit, there was too much that could have been done exept drive so slowly you could have gone by bicycle.

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I`m not remotely surprised. In the last year I have witnessed two kids being knocked down on the street with bicycles and the riders fleeing the scene. One got her head caught in the spokes and has permanent scars, the other broke his leg. They had no idea if the kids were even alive when they fled the scene. Some people just seem to have no conscience at all.

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Well, that would be nice, but they would still make the accident my fault even if totally his and that would still mean a lot of damage to me. I have a family to take care of and taking the blame for reckless idiots is where my nobility ends.>

It would be the humane thing to do trying to save his life, whether he was an idiot or not. But to turn the tables around, if, May it never happen for real, you family was hit by a car and the driver sped away, I doubt very much if you'd simply shrug your shoulders and say, "Oh well, they must have been idiot pedestrians today, they deserved it.The driver correctly assessed the idiocy factor here and so he correctly left the scene letting my family die." No, I would think you'd be cursing the driver and demanding justice just like the family here would be doing. I am sorry, taking2u, but I find your cold reasoning to this just heartless and selfish. You may be a nice guy in real life, but if you honestly believe what your writing here, then I hope I never have my life or that of my family in your hands. Because you'd only think of yourself.

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Well, maybe you could explain to me how a person gets hit by a car? I have had some near misses walking and I know perfectly well they were my fault. A driver can't hear anything and can see much less than a pedestrian.

talking2u-Exactly! I've never heard of someone hitting a car. Even though you wrote the statement, I disagree that you should feel like that in those instances when you were walking, you were at fault. As a professional driver, a person should drive safely for conditions and/or the worst case scenario. If a driver is somewhere we he cant hear anything, or can not see what's behind 'that' corner, it is the driver's responsibility to drive at a speed to be able stop if something arises.

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talking2U-- I understand the point you're trying to make, but as KakiOko pointed out, it's not right to say things like just because the person was an idiot, they suddenly don't deserve help? That they deserve to die in the street while you flee the scene? There is no doubt in my mind that there are plenty of cases where the pedestrian was the one NOT paying attention. I've SEEN it, myself. But that doesn't mean you drive away. As sorry as I feel for the poor people who do have their lives ruined due to someone elses ignorance, I stand by my words.

All of that said... I would like to see more leniency in cases, more thorough investigations, and don't simply hang the drivers.

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kokorocloud, of course even idiots deserve help. Of course you don't drive away because the person was an idiot. You drive away because despite a person being an idiot, the authorities will ruin your life.

I think we agree that more leniency and investigations are needed. I cannot promise that deaths will go down, but hit and run will. Deaths will not go down until the pedestrians, who have many many more means for accident prevention, are made to pay attention and obey rules.

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If a driver is somewhere we he cant hear anything,

Obviously, you have never been in a car. You can't hear pedestrians coming, even if they whistle!

or can not see what's behind 'that' corner, it is the driver's responsibility to drive at a speed to be able stop if something arises.

Then eliminate cars and make everyone bicycle. Or set cars to never go over 20kph. If that is rule you drive by, you can't be getting anywhere. Again, you must never have been inside a car, particularly not in Japan.

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We should always take extra care when we see old people, small children and animals on the road. So for me its the driver foult who drive roughly through this man. I saw lots of driver driving recklessly at night specially in outskirt where many time they even ignore the red signal.

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Then eliminate cars and make everyone bicycle. Or set cars to never go over 20kph. If that is rule you drive by, you can't be getting anywhere. Again, you must never have been inside a car, particularly not in Japan.

If that's your mentality while you drive, remend me to stay out of the area where you are. Basically you are saying, if the speed limit is 50, you are driving 50, regardless if there are a bunch of children playing by the roadside? Right?

In my case, I'd be driving really slow until I pass this area.

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Gurukun, where did I say I never slow down or ever feel the need? I have a gold license because I am very careful. I made a real slow right turn just last night because a mentally handicapped person was pacing and darting back and forth by the road last night, and disappearing behind a corner as he did it too. The lucky thing is, I noticed him and what he was doing. I would not blame someone who didn't. I had enough to time to observe his behavior waiting at the red light. Others behind me had no idea and I don't expect them to. How could I? If he darted out and got himself hit, its sad, but no point blaming the driver.

And that reminds me, old people often suffer from dementia too. I don't mind being careful and slowing down at all. I mind being held responsible for what is impossible to prevent or predict. If you can't see how most of these accidents cannot be prevented by a driver, except by driving 20 kph literally everywhwere, well, you have no concept of physics or driving.

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talking2U, I just don't understand yoour mentality on driving in relation to the article. The old man just didn't dart out into the road. It clearly states that he was walking.

I also have a gold license and been driving in Japan for over 30 years. I still don't see how it can ever be the pedestrians fault for getting hit by a vehicle.

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Gukurun, you sure you don't take the train to work? Are you sure you are in Japan? I don't see how you could drive here for 30 years and not have a seen a kid go for a lost hat or ball, suddenly realize you are on a collision course with a person dressed head to toe in black in the middle of the night on a narrow road with no street lights, have an old person make a sudden shift or attempt to cross without looking, or other experience of pedestrian stupidity you only avoided by luck. Do you just have a bad memory? Even so, its not that hard to understand that all it takes is a sidestep for a pedestrian from fairly safe on the side of the road to right in the path of your car, and you will hit them even if your speed is down to a crawl.

But hey, it was you that suggested a driver not be in a place where they can't hear. So where they going to sit? On the hood?

The old man just didn't dart out into the road. It clearly states that he was walking.

Did you think that was a minute to minute play by play? He was out for a walk, yes. At the time he was hit at 9:40 pm he might have been wearing all black kneeling down in the middle of the road feeling for his glasses, or crossed the road without looking out from between two parked cars. Both and more are possible with someone out for a walk in complete darkness.

But in general I would say there is a 90 percent chance at the very least that a little bit of caution on the part of the pedestrian would have saved them from this sort of death. How do you fail to notice a car coming? They are not quiet, they are not small, they usually have big bright lights on at night and they don't travel in random directions.

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talking2U, are you sure YOU dont take the train to work? I don't see how you could drive in Japan gwhile giving those examples you used. If you a re driving on a dark road and a person dressed from head to tow crosses the road with out looking, it's the driver's responsibility to anticipate something like that. What that 'anticipate' is depends on each person. If you have great eyesight, and you headlights are brighter then the usual vehicle, then you can travel at a higher speed. If you vision restricts what you can, or cant see 15 feet ahead of you, then you need to make the adjustments to drive at a speed where 'you' can react if asomething like this happens to occur. In Japan, when you get a driver's license, you are considered a professional driver. When operating a vehicle, you should be proactive rather than having to be reactive.

Also, I never said that a driver shouldn't be somewhere where they cant hear. I said if a driver is somewhere where they can't hear, they need to drive at a slower speed to make up for loss of not being able to hear.

You are correct that a car is not small, not quiet and don't travel in radom directions. You need to realize that what you are operating is a 1,000kg weopon.

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