crime

74-year-old Kanagawa woman killed in hit-and-run

31 Comments

Police in Kanagawa Prefecture are on the lookout for a driver who caused the death of a 74-year-old woman in a hit-and-run incident on Sunday.

The woman, who has been identified as Chieko Watanabe, is believed to have been cycling in the city of Hadano when she was was hit by a car just after 8 p.m. A nearby resident was the first to call the police to report the incident. "I heard a thud outside. When I got there, the lady was lying on the ground beside her bicycle," she was quoted as saying by police.

Watanabe was taken to hospital where she died a short time after due to multiple injuries.

Police found the broken front wheel of Watanabe's bicycle along with a screw that they believe came from a car.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
Login to comment

Poor woman. Yet another victim in this seemingly endless cycle of hit and run. Let the speculation posters begin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Police found the broken front wheel of Watanabe’s bicycle along with a screw that they believe came from a car.

Initially, did the wheel go missing? And they found a screw that came from 'A' car, not 'THE' car?

Anyway, I hope they catch this retard! RIP Ms. Watanabe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

74 years old riding her bike at night - did she have a light on her bike? Was she wearing dark clothing? This news post leaves us with so little info.

Regardless, RIP Ms. Watanabe - I hope they catch this spineless jerk who hits people and continues driving.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People generally run because they are blind drunk. They need some time to sober up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

not necessarily. they may simply panic when seeing a flash of their life ruined, maybe even not being their fault, and flee, just to turn in after a few days when their heads cool down. it's not an excuse for running away, but it's a reality. and running away basically seals their fate, regardless of circumstances

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I was involved in a hit and run, I lost my memory of it as my head was split open. Glad I did not die. RIP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most of the time it's the careless cyclists fault, they just turn out in the path of traffic, wobble all over the place or go through intersections without looking, and usually they have no lights and wear dark clothing. The car driver very often can do nothing to avoid these careless clowns most times. However running from the scene is something that cannot be condoned.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am very sorry for this woman and her family and definitely think the person who hit her should have stopped to see what he or she had hit, to call for help and to await the police, regardless of the consequences. Sadly though, experience has made me cynical so my first thought when I read a story like this is that the cyclist was at fault, either riding on the wrong side of the road, turning into on-coming traffic, not stopping at zebra crossings that don't have lights, not wearing reflective clothing or using proper lights. Yes, it's an assumption but I ride nearly everyday and am constantly amazed at the general carelessness and stupidity with which most people here cycle. Many Japanese I've spoken to talk about a lack of cycling manners as if people could just be more polite and everything would be okay when what it really comes down to is using common sense and following the rules of the road. There are days when I seem to be the only cyclist riding with traffic, using hand signals to indicate that I'm going to turn and actually stopping at red lights and stop signs. The only thing that amazes me more is that I don't see more accidents than I do. That said, I just read somewhere that the number of cycle accidents had increased by a huge amount but for the life of me, I can't remember where I read that. The bottom line is that until children are taught from a young age how to ride properly and the police enforce the rules (by following themselves would be a start), cycle-car and cycle-pedestrain accidents are only going to continue increasing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I own a very nice cycle - to the tune of 200,000 yen and yet truth be told I can't bring myself to ride it much anymore. I'm not so worried about drivers as much as other pedestrians and bicyclists who don't seem to adhere to any road rules. Perviously I lived close to a huge park and so could cycle pretty much care free but no longer.

Hit and runs are cowardly. Hope they catch the person.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The car driver very often can do nothing to avoid these careless clowns most times."

Blame the victim!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yet another tragic hit and run story, if only the driver had stopped, made an emergency phone call the poor woman might still be alive...but no, left to die a lonely cruel death in the ditch...this really does say a lot about Japan and it's society.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this really does say a lot about Japan and it's society.

tinytim you make it sound like hit n runs only happen in japan, for christ sakes man they happen in every country its not an indictment on japanese only.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

    The streets of Tokyo are a veritable minefield when it comes to wobbling old people on bikes with no lights and dark clothing. People here are senseless about bicycle safety: no helmets, no reflectors, no safety savvy at all. And we get blamed when they blunder into our paths ? If that guy had stopped, his life would have been over too as he knew it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

no helmets, no reflectors, no safety savvy at all.

Sounds like typical European cyclists.

Many provinces in Canada are going against for their helmet laws. British Columbia was arguing about ditching the helmet laws for bicycles, due to increase in short distance bicycle usage (shopping, commuting, etc).

I am not against helmets, but helmets sounds too much trouble for short distance ride.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

aksksk: Apparently any safety measures are too much trouble for short-distance cyclists in Japan but oddly enough your head can be damaged just as easily on a short-distance ride as it can on a long-distance one. I'm not sure if people should have to wear helmets but I sure don't want to be on the roads with people who have so little regard for their own safety, oh wait, that's almost every Japanese cyclist I've ever encountered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ambrosia,

I haven't rode bicycles in years because of the safety reasons and also because I simply don't need one. I am not against helmets and know importance of it, but if I were to ride bicycle from my home to the nearby 7-11 or station, I'll probably get lazy and I'm probably not going to wear one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a horrible news, 74 years of living, having children, grandchildren to then be killed by some stupid bastard! RIP obaachan from Kanagawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so sad. hope the driver is caught soon :( RIP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Take note keyboard warriors, there is no way grandma would be given much blame unless she literally fell from the sky. No matter how suicidal she was, the driver will be blamed and his life ruined, your life if you are the driver. And so, it warms my heart to know that so many of you will stay, and for the sake of crazy Japanese road law and a dead and most probably reckless bicyclist, will take the fall. Your spouse and children will be so proud!

That said, I don't know whose fault the accident was, but I know the Japanese cops already have decided, no questions necessary in their small minds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hottomales, the JCops have decided the driver left the scene, nothing more. Thus, the driver made it easy for them. They don't HAVE to decide whose fault it was now because the driver drove off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very Sad story. Even with all the bicycles here, it is extremely dangerous cycling in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fadmor, stay or run the result would have been the same. The driver is guilty of running. It has no bearing on fault for the accident except for very stupid and irrational people. Its like guessing who started a fight by seeing who won it. One is not related to the other.

They could fairly punish the driver for running with no complaint from me, but only if he could have been given a fair trial. Well, he was not going to get a fair trial, run or stay, so he ran. No surprise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fadmor, stay or run the result would have been the same.

Not true. Now he/she's guilty of the Japanese equivilent of manslaughter AND leaving the scene of an accident. So now the sentence will be heavier.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

why does this happen so much in Japan? elderly on bicycle getting run down by vehicles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even with all the bicycles here, it is extremely dangerous cycling in Japan.

At least in the big cities.

Looking at the report (see youtube) the front wheel was damaged that much, that it must have been quite an impact that happened on that small street.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I cycle for recreation purpose every night on Tokyo's streets. It is in fact a dangerous thing as drivers of all kinds of motor-vehicles simply ignore bicycles. Many think bicycles should be on the pavement not on the road.

It sometimes so dangerous and annoying that a "pat on the roof" of all to idiotic car driver becomes necessary (once I catch up at a red traffic light).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unfortunately, we will probably never know whose fault it is. It could be either for wreckless driving. I cannot blame anyone for the initial incident based on what is told in the article.

Also unfortunate is that, in the eyes of the law, it will just about always be the car driver's fault regardless of the circumstances. Their lives can be ruined by a single event that might not have been realistically avoidable. A cyclist can run into the road from no visible point in the matter of a split second, and depending on the normal speed limit, it may truly be unavoidable. Of course, there is the obvious possibility that the car driver was not paying attention...

This also leaves a car driver with the unfortunate most logical, though not moral, thing to do is run. If they stay, they are ruined. If they run, they have a chance of getting away with something they may not have been able to avoid. I hope that the law will one day be more reasonable in these circumstances.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tinytim, please reread the article. A neighbor "heard a thud," went out, found the lady, but by that time it was too late. You think if the driver stopped and called an ambulance the outcome would have been any different?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Fadamor: Not true. Now he/she's guilty of the Japanese equivilent of manslaughter AND leaving the scene of an accident. So now the sentence will be heavier.

I will let you have that point, but point out that if he had stayed it would have been heavy enough, and irregardless of the circumstances of the accident. That means much too heavy if the accident was entirely the old woman's fault.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hottomales: The punishment may be too severe but common human decency dictates that the driver should have stopped and checked to see if the cyclist could have been helped. He or she may have thought it was beyond hope but without stopping they wouldn't know that. You'll get no argument from me on the stupidity of most cyclists here nor on the stupidity of the road laws regarding this kind of situation but the driver still should have stopped. That was a human being lying on the road. Irregardless is not a word though I'm sure you just made a typing mistake and meant regardless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

News Flash: pedestrians and cyclists have the right of way in Japan. It is the car drivers responsibility to yield to them. Like it or not, that is the rules. I can't count the number of close calls I've had when I totally had the right of way but some driver just wasn't paying much attention. Also I have covered a lot of ground and i don't ever remember seeing a bike that had "no reflectors or lights." Bottom line, if someone "comes wobbling out into an intersection" it is up to you to yield. Most people, not all i admit, but most tend to obey the crosswalk signals unless it is really obvious nothing is coming. usually these close calls come when i have the green light, the traffic going my direction also has green light but somebody wants to suddenly hang a left or right turn.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites