crime

7-year-old girl killed after car rear-ended in 5-vehicle pile-up

21 Comments

A 22-year-old man has been arrested after the car he was driving rear-ended another vehicle, killing a seven-year-old girl, in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, on Saturday night.

Police said the driver, Bungo Yamamoto, has been arrested on suspicion of reckless driving resulting in death and injury, Fuji TV reported. He was quoted by police as saying he dozed off just before he plowed into the light car which was waiting behind three other cars at a red traffic light at an intersection along National Route One, Fuji TV reported.

The girl in the car he hit, Chihiro Hayakawa, suffered severe injuries and was taken to hospital where she died. Nine other people, ranging in age from three to 80, were injured in the five-car pile-up.

Police said Yamamoto, a company employee from Katano in Osaka Prefecture, also said he was speeding and couldn’t brake in time.

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21 Comments
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Not to take away from the guilty driver's act of tragic negligence, if the family was in a standard vehicle rather than a Kei, that poor little girl would probably still be alive.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

 if the family was in a standard vehicle rather than a Kei, that poor little girl would probably still be alive

You act like everyone could afford to have a standard vehicle. Do you realize how much more gas, tax and the service check costs compared to a kei car?

4 ( +14 / -10 )

I once lived in Katano. Nice city. Too bad this guy was so careless. I could not live with myself after such an accident. RIP.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Do you realize how much more gas, tax and the service check costs compared to a kei car?"

a lot less than loosing your son or daughter who can never be replaced. safety first, then all of your costs after that.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

garypenToday 05:56 pm JST

Not to take away from the guilty driver's act of tragic negligence, if the family was in a standard vehicle rather than a Kei, that poor little girl would probably still be alive.

The type of vehicle nor the parents choice of vehicle is nothing to do with the fact that this Bungo idiot carelessly drove and ploughed into the back of a line of stationary traffic while speeding. If you think somehow the blame is somewhere else you need a serious think.

The child could have been a pedestrian or on a bicycle, a vehicle with even less protection from reckless fool driving like an idiot.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Regardless of the type of car she was in, the biggest question should be did she have her seat belt on. Constantly see kids riding in cars without seatbelts, standing up in the car, etc.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

A speeding and sleeping driver. I’m sure he is going to jail. I have to wonder though, would the little girl have survived if she wasn’t it one of those death trap K cars? Many of the newer ones have the back seat within twenty centimeters of the back of the car. Anybody sitting in the back is going to get seriously injured it killed if they get rear ended. You have to be pretty foolish to put you kids on hr back of one of them.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I teached and scared my kids about seat belt and accident that it's the first thing they do when they seat in cars. Every day i see parents driving with kids standing in cars and even talking on their phones!

Regardless of the type of car she was in, the biggest question should be did she have her seat belt on. Constantly see kids riding in cars without seatbelts, standing up in the car, etc.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

DaDudeToday  06:14 pm JST

You act like everyone could afford to have a standard vehicle. Do you realize how much more gas, tax and the service check costs compared to a kei car?

That's not true. You can get a 2nd hand car for less than 500,000 yen that is far safer than a new Kei Car.

In Osaka you see mothers driving their children around quite often without a seatbelt on. You also see plenty of mothers driving with a mobile phone in their hand and a seatbeltless child in the back.

Honestly, Japan doesn't care about the safety of its children in cars. Plenty of ways Japan is great in terms of safety but this certainly isn't one of them. And it's such a simple thing that is easy to fix.

I asked a mother once why she didn't make her child put on a seatbelt. The answer? Because the child doesn't like it... Says it all really.

I'm not saying this little girl wasn't wearing a seatbelt either. We don't know. I hope she was for the sake of the grieving parents.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Rear ending another car?

Not the mother’s fault...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

RIP little one. This is exactly why we have a Nissian X-Trail, and a Toyota Land Cruiser. If we get in a crash chances of survival are high, for all. Paying more money for a car is wirth saving my childrens life. As parents we are supposed to protect our children at ALL costs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So sad, but yeah, K cars are death traps for serious accidents. My wife wants a small car. I won’t be buying a K car, looking at the VW Polo.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

there is no excuse for the driver who rammed the car. However, was this little girl in a car seat which is recommended until a child is 7. My son was in one until 7 and he disliked it. I even dragged it with me to India and every car we drove in that car seat was to be found. A headache for sure, however, safety paramount.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

RIP little one.

Sure Kei-car is less sturdy but reading that 9 people in 5 cars were injured implies not all cars were K and still people were not protected!

As noted, often back seat belts are ignored despite some years ago it was made mandatory. Car owners no matter the size of the vehicle should also adjust the seat neck protector to appropriate hight as this is what saves life in rear-ending!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reckless: "I once lived in Katano. Nice city."

You don't say. I've been there a lot. Perhaps we've met.

Regardless, I know exactly where this took place and I see people speed through the reds there all the time. And I've no doubt the guy was thinking of doing that when the car in front of him stopped. I also have to wonder if the girl was wearing a seatbelt.

bogva: "As noted, often back seat belts are ignored despite some years ago it was made mandatory."

Actually, I think there are numerous loopholes. It is only mandatory for passengers, and not mandatory for people in the backseat unless on an expressway (hence express buses need to provide them, and by law passengers are supposed to wear them... but of course never do). And the incredibly strict penalty for the driver and/or passenger not wearing a seatbelt? One point off a license. Not even a fine, as that was considered to be "unpopular among drivers and might hurt lawmakers in upcoming elections".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That's not true. You can get a 2nd hand car for less than 500,000 yen that is far safer than a new Kei Car.

I never said anything about price of the car. There is not a single solitary standard car that is cheaper for tax, gasoline, service check and highway tolls than a Kei car. If you know something we don't, please share the info here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

DaDude, used Nissan Leaf is safer than a kei , can be bought for under 500,000yen cheaper on gasoline, doesnt need oil changes etc either,...............now theres an idea for you

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

MSR Japan

The child could have been a pedestrian or on a bicycle, a vehicle with even less protection from reckless fool driving like an idiot.

She wasn't, though. She was in a kei, as it clearly states in the article.

"He was quoted by police as saying he dozed off just before he plowed into the light car...The girl in the car he hit, Chihiro Hayakawa, suffered severe injuries and was taken to hospital where she died."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So sad, but yeah, K cars are death traps for serious accidents. My wife wants a small car. I won’t be buying a K car, looking at the VW Polo.

Good choice! The Mazda2 (Demio) is another good choice, as is the crossover version, CX3. Small, but solid. And, extremely well-appointed for the price.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sure Kei-car is less sturdy but reading that 9 people in 5 cars were injured implies not all cars were K and still people were not protected!

But, the only fatality was in a kei.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You act like everyone could afford to have a standard vehicle.

Because the kei-cars are mostly artificially cheaper, thanks to a govt discriminatory policy that makes taxes, insurance and other costs deliberately lower, unfairly raising the relative cost of a standard (safer) vehicle.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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