crime

66-year-old woman dies after being hit by truck in Tochigi

28 Comments

A 66-year-old woman was hit by a light-weight pickup truck as she rode her bicycle across National Route 293 in the town of Nakagawa on Monday. She was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead about an hour later, police said Tuesday.

Police said it appears Chitoko Kasai had just finished shopping and was crossing the road on her bicycle just after 5 p.m. when she was hit by the vehicle. A man driving behind told police he saw the accident, and that the white pickup vehicle carrying bicycles in the rear failed to stop at the scene and accelerated away.

The collision threw the woman's body some 10 meters to the side of the road into a fence, and her bicycle and groceries were strewn across the road. Police said the road was straight and had good visibility, but that a similar accident occurred there about two years ago.

© News reports

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28 Comments
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Cigerettes. Check. Canned coffee. Check. Keitai. Check. SCUM. Check.

Poor woman. RIP.

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RIP and prayers to the "families" involved. It doesn't say whether or not the 66 year old lady rode straight out in front of the truck or not (only that she rode her bicycle across National Route 293); just like all the 66 year olds do in the area i live in. The only thing the witness states is that the truck didn't stop at the scene and accelerated away!!!!Did he fail to stop at lights? a crossing? as she veared suddenly in front of him? ..a bit more info would help. I hope it isn't the case but some of the older folk think that the heavens will stop anything and everything in their path and there is no need to look for any traffic at all as they have the right of way no matter what.

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Hit and runs are becoming too common here. I think the punishment for such a crime should be upgraded to life in prison to reflect how serious it is. If they stop they have a chance to save that person. Running just delays the medical services and can cost people their lives. This attitude makes me sick. My thoughts go out to that poor woman's family.

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Another hit and run. Hit and run will have to be added to the Japanese cultural aspects. Although, some of the oldies are pests and don't even look when they cross roads on their deadly treadlies. Most drivers in Japan only see a meter in front of them and don't give a rat's about what is going on around them. Stupid + Stupid = Dead

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I feel badly for Kasai-san but, as a bike rider who averages 4,000km/year, I can tell you that the negligence shown by bike riders in this country is staggering; no lights on their bikes, dark clothes, riding against traffic, etc. The intricate details in this case have not been printed but I know that a bicycle safety course should be mandatory and that the police should begin assigning blame and penalties to the riders when appropriate.

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Two things:

I won't bore everyone with yet another diatribe about Japanese bicyclists, my views are pretty clear. Yes, Japanese drivers are terrible but the pedestrians and bicyclists are much worse.

You want the hit and runs to stop? Change the law so that the driver is not automatically at fault. This was probably an accident caused by the poor woman who died, but it automatically is a crime committed by the driver. The thought of your life in ruins through no fault of your own flashing through one's mind in the space of 2.5 seconds is often enough to overwhelm one's sense of morality, and so the person takes off. Not saying I would do this, but can understand the motivation.

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Is this another hit and run? it wasn't mentioned at all... sounds like a hit and run. They really need to toughen the law make sure they wouldn't run away after an accident.

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mansen - Is this another hit and run? it wasn't mentioned at all...

Did you actually read the article? What does this mean????

the white pickup vehicle carrying bicycles in the rear failed to stop at the scene and accelerated away.

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Terrible for both people involved.

Driver, rider, & pedestrian caution - stress it.

I was noting to a non-Japanese colleague the other day about how in the snowy, rural area we live in, less than half the cars switch on their lights in days of low visibility. I come from a place that does not see snow in cities, so I am especially cautious here. Snow, heavy rain - on come the lights. My friend mentioned that, probably switching on lights in poor weather conditions is either (a) not taught at driving schools or (b) because it's not a rule, people don't do it here. But I always hear people here talking about "It's only common sense..." but not when it comes to being a cautious, careful driver.

And that goes double for the woman tailgating me this morning. The 'two seconds' rule wasn't taught to her, I guess.

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People like to hit and run here. It happened to me and I am still dealing with the paper work. You will like this. Like over 100 forms to fill out and maps and unbelievable garbage. Why, because the govt. wants to pay me for pain and suffering by one of its citizens. They want to pay me from the day I was taken by ambulance to get a cat scan and a bunch of staples in my head, until the day the staples were removed. And here is how much I will get paid per day. 3000 Yen! Yup, 3000 yen per day. What a joke. Happened last June. I still have not been paid.

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This is a sad story but is it necessarily news? I always wonder why JT feels the need to tells us about random hit-and-runs crimes.

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Its a little odd to say she was hit by the truck. It sounds more like she put herself in the truck's path. It might sound like semantics, but it does influence how people interpret these matters. Note there is no mention of a crosswalk or a light. The article does say "good visibility", but at 5 p.m. at this time of year? I don't think so. Dusk is a time of terrible visibility. Everything goes gray or you can have ths sun in your eyes.

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This is a sad story but is it necessarily news? I always wonder why JT feels the need to tells us about random hit-and-runs crimes.

perhas JT is providing an opportunity to those who wish to convey their condolences (RIP)to unknown souls.

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Hit and runs will be a way of life here until the law changes to apportion blame to the injured party IF they are to blame in some way. As it stands, from what I know, the driver is 100% criminally responsible regardless of the circumstances. Imagine driving along, within the speed limit and some obachan on her bike flies into your path, without notice. You hit her, and that's it. You will be arrested, may even go to jail if she dies. Of course it's wrong to drive off, but for some the realisation that they may lose their job and possibly their liberty for what may be a blameless accident is the motivator for such incidents. If he was drunk, then it's another story...

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I have to agree with perspective.

You want the hit and runs to stop? Change the law so that the driver is not automatically at fault.

I think the currect backwards situation was probably instituted to make driver's more cautious. I am sure that in the beginning it had that effect and accidents went down. But the idea has outlived its usefulness. Every time we driver's hear about it being used, it makes us more than cautious, it makes us fearful. And when an old woman like this basically commits suicide and makes us an uwilling participant, our fear can turn to anger and a serious lack of remorse. Pedestrians and bicyclists meanwhile feel strangely emoldened by thinking they are always in the right. One would think all that steel bearing down on them would make them cautious. Bizarrely, they ignore that and go with the backward right of way laws. People are so up in their own heads.

It will take some very peculiar details to make me feel for the old woman. It does not sound like the truck chased her down or jumped the curb. It sounds like she blundered onto the road and right into the path of the truck and ruined somebody's life as well as take her own. Even if he stuck around to take responsibility, you think things would go easy for him? Of course people run! The system is whack!

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Can't say for sure but experience says she just rode out in front of the truck. Have had plenty of cyclists or pedestrians just walk/ride infront of my car with not a care about rules of the road or their own safety.

People hit and run because the consewquences of being involved in an accident in Japan (even if you are totally in the right) are so painful. always both to blame, process is absolutely ridiculous, fines and or jailtime can be severe. And pedestrians/bicycles always less to blame than cars, even if they have broken all the rules.

anyway, 66 is a pretty good innings

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The driver of this truck has committed a grave crime and a deep injustice to this unfortunate woman (and her family) by not stopping to offer assistance. Any serious effort by authorities should not have a lot of trouble identifying this driver.

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Should issue people with drive recorders, to record the 15 seconds of your travel before and after impact. Might help assign responsibility better.

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Didn't take long for JT posters to blame the victim. Over 30? Old and senile, her fault. On a bicycle, obviously blind and not careful, her fault. But since JT hasn't given us enough information about what happened, we will have to speculate and judge before the facts are in. Will JT provide follow-up coverage?

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they don't have to be over 30. Ironically I just smashed into a 20-something guy on a bicycle while riding my own because he was looking at his keitai while riding out of his driveway. didn't see him until it was too late. The lack of safety in "safe Japan" is unbelievable. Sure it's unfortunate the woman died, even IF it may have been her fault and even more so that the driver took off. But what's it going to take to make people aware of the dangers of being utterly brainless when deciding to go for a bike ride, a walk down to the park, or a nice relaxing drive? Common sense doesn't seem to be helping.

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Well, borscht, I feel bad that someone lost their life and the driver didn't stop. That lady was someone's mom or grandmother and now she's gone. And you're right, based on the scant info in the story, can't really be 100% sure what happened. But based on experience gained from driving here for a total of 6.5 years and seeing first-hand how bicyclists are here, I have a pretty good idea of what happened.

Everytime you get in a car here to drive, you're betting your life that you can drive and successfully avoid hitting someone no matter what circumstance their stupidity puts you in. No matter how well you drive, adhering to the principles of defensive driving, trying to predict situations and react, there's just no defense to someone riding their bicycle in front of your car. Like being a conductor in a train and having someone jump in front of the train - not the conductor's fault, right? Not so when you're driving a car - and that's just wrong.

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borscht: Didn't take long for JT posters to blame the victim.

It is true that she may not be at fault. Its even possible that neither is at fault, because the truck driver might not have even been aware he hit her. She may have slipped on ice or mud and side swipped the truck. The driver might not have even noticed. It is possible. It is however very unlikely.

The odds are extremely high it was totally the old woman's fault. As I have said before, vehicles are not mysterious objects. They generally move down roads and are large and noisy and highly predictable. Odds are the old woman could have prevented this easily. My money always goes with the odds.

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What a nice place this would be if many of the streets were for pedestrians and bicyclists only. A line right down the middle of the road giving a side for people to walk and the other side for bicyclists. These small streets would be a joy to live on. About this lady and perhaps a truck running a red light, as people always do here, is just a tragic event. She might have just been thinking of the walk sign and went without thinking or thinking if she got everything. In this cast stopping would not have helped for others called for help. The truck drive must be just devastated. Probably has a family to feed. I think there is a heafty fine as well and perhaps his children would starve. Tough situation. BTW, what would have happened to him/her if he/she had stopped?

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who knows what really happened but after driving here for 15 years I can agree with many of the posts here that people on bicycles here are out of their mind and exhibit no recognition that exercising their right of ways will be of little value when dead. As has been said here, every day behind the wheel is nerve racking as hell with school kids, grandmas and grandpas just dodging in and out of traffic at whim....

That being said, it is a shame that this woman lost her life regardless of the circumstances. RIP

And goddog... you think that 30 bucks a day is ridiculous compensation from a municipality that owes you nothing? Just how much do you think that the state of california would be offering you had you been run down in compton?

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"Rumors of police asking to examine the front ends of all white pickups on U.S. military bases could not be confirmed at press time."

Who's at fault? In this case it's the driver for speeding away - no matter WHAT the victim had done.

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It's true that the driver is at fault, but the law, I hate to say this, encourages such acts. If a person wanted to kill themselves by jumping in front of a car, I mean literally doing so, a driver would have no chance to avoid the collision. If that person successfully committed suicide, the law says that the driver would possibly go to jail and be criminally responsible.The person might also lose their job.

If we think about such, is it any wonder that people drive off? The law needs changing in terms of making peds, cyclists responsible for their actions IF at fault. As one of the above posters rightly said, cars are highly predictable machines. Peds and cyclists are not.

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It is a shame that she died after the accident. RIP Kasai-san. It is too bad the local residents were not angered at this incident as another similar one last year. I suppose it is just who is involved to make the news. Will the truck be found? Will the witness be able to recall the license plate number? I hope all these questions and much more will have answers soon.

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how is a hit and run not news? what if it helps find the driver or at least a lead that saw something.

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