74-year-old woman arrested in fatal hit-and-run says she thought she hit a cardboard box


A 74-year-old woman who was arrested over a fatal hit-and-run incident has told police that she thought her vehicle had hit a cardboard box.

Umeno Aoki, a resident of Kasukabe City in Saitama Prefecture, struck Sueko Suzuki, 86, after Suzuki was initially hit by another car while crossing a prefectural road at around 9:20 p.m. on April 17, Fuji TV reported.

Suzuki was crossing a two-lane road when she was struck by a car driven by Masaki Mizuochi, 43. She was flung into the path of Aoki’s car going in the opposite direction. Mizuochi stopped but Aoki kept going.

Suzuki was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Mizuochi was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving resulting in death. After reviewing security camera footage of the incident, police managed to identify Aoki as the driver of the second car.

Police said Aoki’s car showed traces of having been in an accident. She has admitted to hitting something but told police she thought it was a cardboard box.

It was raining at the time of the accident and there is no crossing at the spot where Suzuki was hit by the cars.

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Nothing will happen to her, move along

4 ( +4 / -0 )

She will get a token fine and then , move along. RIP Suzuki san.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why arrest her? Is she going to corrupt evidence or witnesses?

Take her in for questioning - yes.

Her story is not unbelievable. She didn't hit the elderly woman - 86 years old - crossing a narrow, unlit street later at night in the rain, another car did that. She hit an "object" on the road which she believed to be a cardboard box.

There's no proof of otherwise, with her car showing "traces of having been in an accident". What on earth does that mean? That could fit most cars on the road.

Sadly the fault mainly lies with the deceased's bad error of judgement and secondly with the driver that hit her.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

But can she be held responsible for the victim's death?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yeah I often mistake people for cardboard boxes, sounds legit.

She's a liar. She doesn't read the news?

Arrest her and give a few years in the slammer where she can take all the time she needs to think about the difference between an old lady and corrugated paper.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I'm probably going to be hated for saying this, but lets look at the conditions at the time of the accident:

9:30 PM (suggests dark conditions)

raining (suggests lowered visibility)

victim crossing at a point where there is no crossing.

As person who drives, this is a complete nightmare scenario for me. I also often encounter "older people" (keeping it real) who walk right out into the middle of the traffic, often in area where they shouldn't be crossing, and EXPECT cars to stop for them.

What they don't realize is, no matter how slow the car may be going, you can't simply stop on a dime, especially when its raining.

I have been in situations where small kids, and elderly people come out of nowhere and run right out into the road. Not only do they pose a danger to themselves, but they pose a danger to me and my passengers, which most of time is my child. THIS IS NOT COOL.

I have even witnessed a woman on a bike run right through a red light (because people on bikes somehow believe that traffic lights don't apply to them) and see a truck swerve and hit a light pole in an effort to avoid hitting her. Luckily, they were both okay, but this seems to happen way too often here. People seem to have a total disregard for traffic laws sometimes.

I am not blaming the victim, but it seems that this person may be alive today if she had taken a few seconds to find a crosswalk, or cross where and when its designated safe to cross.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

When it is dark, raining in a countryside place, I always take special caution. Also if I see a human size cardboard box on the road, I always stop and move it off the road so it doesn’t cause an accident.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Oh, yes! It’s easy to understand the similarities between a cardboard box and a flying body. (roll eyes) She knew she had hit somebody ang just kept going for fear of consequences. I’m quite sure the damage done to her car would not reflect hitting a cardboard box.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I've noticed a lot of people commenting that the pedestrian was ultimately at fault for not crossing at a light or a crosswalk but I think that's taking it too far.

The first driver was taken in for reckless driving. She just may have been driving recklessly. She may have been speeding, not slowing down when seeing the person, distracted from looking at the road, using her smartphone, swerving or whatever. OR she may have been driving carefully. We just don't know from this article.

Although a poster above has given various scenarios of people who dart out into traffic - we don't know if that is what happened here. The pedestrian may have looked both ways and was being careful but was just too slow to cross the street. She was 86 years old. Once again, we just don't know from this article. Let's not jump to too many conclusions here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only crime here is not stopping at the scene of an accident. The victim was hit by another car and flung into the old lady's car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


First of all, the driver was charged on "suspicion" of reckless driving, which is standard for a pedestrian related accident. Doesn't mean that he was actually driving recklessly or speeding. Its just a technical charge so that they can arrest him. You then go to court and explain what the situation is that made you hit the pedestrian.

Given the situation, (and going on only the information we are getting from this article), if the elderly woman was indeed crossing at an area that is not a designated crossing area, at night, in adverse weather conditions, when there's a car coming, then driver will either get a suspended or lenient sentence. I doubt he'll be completely acquitted though. In these situations, apparently the driver is always guilty no matter what.

Remember, this happened at night. The driver most likely had his headlights on making him more visible to the pedestrian that the pedestrian is to the driver, and so if she tried to cross anyway while assuming that the driver would see her and stop in time, then she is definitely at fault.

As for the age, its all the more reason she should have been crossing in the right place. If I had an injury that made me take more time than normal to cross a street, I sure would not do it when a car is coming.

The only way I can see the first driver getting serious jail time for this is if

he was using a cell phone or distracted by something else in his car

was driving at an unsafe or excessive speed for the given condition

somehow lost control over his car (example: mistaken the brakes for the accelerator -happens all the time right?)

didn't have his headlights on
0 ( +0 / -0 )

Could it possibly have been a suicide? This must be looked at from all angles.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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