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7-year-old boy hit, killed by bus; driver arrested


A seven-year-old boy on his way home from school was hit and killed by a bus in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward on Monday.

Police have arrested the bus driver, Toru Kikuchi, 47, on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in death, Fuji TV reported Tuesday. Kikuchi was quoted by police as saying he didn’t see the boy walk onto the road from the left just before a crossing at a T-junction with no lights.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 3 p.m. The boy, Rihito Morita, was crossing the narrow one-way road. He suffered severe injuries and was taken to hospital where he died shortly after arrival.

None of the 16 passengers on the bus were injured.

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Tragic.  It's amazing that accidents like these don't happen more often.


3 ( +4 / -1 )

Tragic. It's amazing that accidents like these don't happen more often.

Actually, a similar accident happened yesterday or the day before yesterday in Osaka. 12 Year old? girl passed away. According to the driver she suddenly crossed the road out of the blue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That’s why you don’t allow people to cross the road when the signal is green, or cars to move anywhere when people cross the road. You’d get a lot less of this happening

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Kids wear those bright colored hats. Now I see why.

Don't know if the kid darted out onto the crosswalk or the driver was distracted, but to arrest him immediately seems a bit harsh if the evidence wasn't thoroughly examined.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Don't know if the kid darted out onto the crosswalk or the driver was distracted

Regardless, the law states that drivers must approach crosswalks (the ones without lights; zebra crossing in the UK) slowly enough that they could stop if necessary.

But the bus driver was just following the norm; in my experience, hardly any drivers here approach crosswalks with caution (and statistically, over 90% of drivers don't stop even when there's a pedestrian wanting to cross).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Horrible thing for everyone involved, the child, his family, the driver, anyone who witnessed it. I can't imagine even seeing a child killed.

I understand the lack of details at this time but I'd have thought they'd at least name the bus company or if it were municipal etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ah, I don't call them zebra crossings in japan. I call them gamble zones. Nobody will stop at them! I've also has drivers swerve around me while on the crossing. Just today I had some ratbag on a scooter weaving his way through the people on the crossing and this was a crossing with signals. Unfortunately, tragedies like this one are inevitable with so many 'donkey's butt' drivers ignoring pedestrian crossings. Condolences to the family.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ah, skittle zones! Gambling is illegal in Japan until you try a pedestrian crossing. Then you gamble with your life! I. An inky feel sorry for the parents. My anger is not directed at the bus driver. It is directed at a culture and police force that ignore the basic safety rules of a pedestrian crossing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My deepest sympathy to the child and parents. Not to place blame anywhere but don't parents teach their kids to look both ways before crossing anymore? I can't even count the number of times kids just dart out of the local parks without even checking for traffic. All the skid marks from (luckily) near misses.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Without further details it's not clear what the driver could have done to avoid the accident. The bus company was Tokyu bus.

It's tragic for the boy and his family, but also for the driver and all observers. When thousands of people are killed in traffic accidents every year, people treat the deaths as statistics, but when when you face an individual death you see that each one is a tragedy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Joe Wein - Without further details it's not clear what the driver could have done to avoid the accident. The bus company was Tokyu bus.

The kid was in a crossing. All drivers have the responsibility of duty of care at pedestrian crossings. Even if the kid did dart out in front of the bus, the driver should have been cautious enough to anticipate it. I’ve been driving for over 50 years, nearly twenty years in Japan. The only accident I have had was when some idiot drove into my car while it was parked at a highway rest stop on the Tome Highway. People must stop driving aggressively and start driving defensively. I often get abused for traveling at he speed limit in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

While I understand the idea of driving defensively, I've also seen plenty of times where pedestrians, especially children, do appear out of nowhere.

How? Pretty simple, actually. The story says it's a one lane road, so you can assume it's narrow. Probably with no sidewalk, as is common throughout Japan.

Now, what if the building on the left side corner has a wall? It doesn't have to be a high one, considering we're talking about a 7 year old boy, 140 cm will be more than sufficient to mask the child until they dart out with less than a meter to react before they are in front of you. The distance you have to react if the child is running is miniscule, maybe 2-3 meters at most.

I don't care how fast or slow you are going, even at a walking pace a vehicle the size of a bus will take more than 2-3 meters to stop even if the driver is looking at that left side corner like a hawk.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Such a SAD story ...

I'm sure your parents will always cherish the seven years you filled their hearts with joy.

Rihito Morita rest in peace young man.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Drivers in Japan share the road space with pedestrians in many cases.

Scooters, trucks, bicycles and pedestrians all vying for the same space and more!

Pedestrian crossings unlit and unmarked are the norm here.

And a seven year old gets killed?

Not surprising .....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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