crime

75-year-old woman killed in hit-and-run in Yokohama; man arrested

22 Comments

Police on Monday night arrested a 71-year-old man over the hit-and-run death of a 75-year-old woman in Yokohama on Sunday morning.

According to police, Keiko Okawara was found lying by the side of the road in Sakae Ward at around 4 a.m., Sankei Shimbun reported. She was rushed to a hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival.

Fragments of a car were found at the scene, indicating that the woman was most likely hit by a vehicle, police said.

Police analyzed security camera footage and spotted a car belonging to Takeshi Sayama.

Sayama was quoted by police as saying he had not been aware that he had hit anybody.

© Japan Today

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22 Comments
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Same sad story again and again. How long till the coward is picked up i wonder. RIP

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Evidence left at the scene...why even run?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, there's a clear evidence of the hit-and -run. Hope the suspect realizes that it's wise to give himself/herself up to the police right now. You have no chance to get away.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably wants to wait until the booze has left his or her system and will then go to the police claiming shock or ignorance to the fact anyone was hit.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yeah, lets blame the driver right away. The old lady must have certainly been observing all rules of the road and all rules of common sense. The driver must have been drunk or high. Sure.

Oh, but the driver is cowardly and evil for running? Well I tell you now, so you will know if it happens to you: Even if somebody writes a suicide note and flings themselves out from between two parked cars into your car's path and dies, you WILL be convicted for vehicular manslaughter in Japan. In other words, you have no case and no chance no matter what. You think at 4 a.m. (think of the lighting at that time) you will absolutely be able to see and avoid hitting the senile old person in the middle of the road dressed in grey, whose chin seems very close to resting on their shoes as they walk? Sure you would. And if you fail and granny or grandpa dies from the slightest bump, you would stick around and pay the piper knowing full well you did nothing wrong? Sure you would.

I don't know who is at fault, so I don't know if I can forgive the running or not. But if I am going to default, having witnessed these clueless old people at all hours who bumble across or down the road like cars don't even exist, I am going default with the driver.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

1800YOULOSE

Way to blame the victim. And making a lot assumptions based on nothing

I don't know who is at fault,

then don't automatically assume that the victim's at fault. All we know is that a car probably hit her, and the driver fled the scene, which makes him guilty of at least one crime.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

then don't automatically assume that the victim's at fault.

How about I assume you did not read my message carefully? I said what I said. The way you misinterpreted it is your fault.

Now, speaking of assumptions, you assume the old lady was a victim, rather than the perpetrator. Why? Sheer bias.

I assumed nothing. I simply told you where my default lies until I find out otherwise. I am open to all evidence, but my experience and observation suggests what I said is a fitting default if people are to assume...and I didn't. You did.

Further, consider how people would react if the man had hit a deer. What would they say? Would they blame the driver for being careless? Or would they blame the deer for being clueless? I am telling you, I walk, cycle and drive in this country. The number of old people as clueless as a deer is enormous. If this old lady was one, I don't know. But arrows are pointing that direction. She was not hit on the sidewalk after all and cars are not deadly silent nor invisible. Any fool knows they in the vicinity. Any fool knows where they are headed. Any fool gets out of their way.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

How about I assume you did not read my message carefully? I said what I said. The way you misinterpreted it is your fault

I did read what you wrote carefully, and I read a lot silly assumptions based on nothing written in the article. You assumed that the lighting was poor, you assumed that the woman was senile, you assumed that she was wearing dark colors -we know none of this. All that we know is that she was hit by a car because of the evidence left at the scene, and we know that she died.

Now, speaking of assumptions, you assume the old lady was a victim, rather than the perpetrator. Why?

Um...maybe because she's the one who was hit by the car and she's the one who's dead. By her dying, by definition that makes her the victim. Funny how that works ain't it? Maybe she did swerve out in the middle of the road, but because the driver didn't stick around to tell the police that, that makes him BY DEFINITION the perpetrator, and the criminal, because hit and run is a CRIME.

Even if somebody writes a suicide note and flings themselves out from between two parked cars into your car's path and dies, you WILL be convicted for vehicular manslaughter in Japan. In other words, you have no case and no chance no matter what.

Again, another silly assumption. Just a couple of months ago, a driver was vindicated and absolved from a vehicular manslaughter charge, because it was found that the cyclist was careless. This is evidence that the laws aren't black and white in Japan and there is plenty of room for human judgement. But if you hit someone and run, then you are likely to serve time, because that is as good as admitting guilt and H and R is a much more serious crime.

She was not hit on the sidewalk after all and cars are not deadly silent nor invisible. Any fool knows they in the vicinity. Any fool knows where they are headed. Any fool gets out of their way.

Again, a bunch of baseless assumptions. A lot of streets have no sidewalks in Japan. That doesn't mean that any cyclist riding in the street deserve to be hit and killed. Its perfectly legal for cyclist to ride in the streets.

BTW, for you information a deer ≠ a woman....but just for the sake of argument, if a driver does hit a deer, the driver most definitely could be at fault if he was driving carelessly....

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This will probably be another case where the perpetrator turns him or herself in after shaking off the horror (to an extent) of what they did, unless it was a drunk driver and then there's a bit less of a chance they'd do it. I'm not blaming the victim, but if she was found at 4a.m. I'm guessing she was out walking on the road (side) early in the morning. It says nothing about the conditions, the road itself, and of course we don't know if she was walking ON the road, along it, or crossing it even, so we can't blame anyone except obviously the people who ran for running.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

You think at 4 a.m. (think of the lighting at that time) you will absolutely be able to see and avoid hitting the senile old person in the middle of the road dressed in grey, whose chin seems very close to resting on their shoes as they walk?

I assumed nothing.

??? Being found dead at the side of the road at 4am doesn't mean she was killed at 4am. She could have been knocked down at 10pm on Saturday night for all we know and not found until hours later.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You assumed that the lighting was poor,

It was 4 a.m.! You are trying WAY too hard to find fault with my messages!

you assumed that the woman was senile

No I did not. My point was, supposing she was? If she was, could you avoid hitting her? And she may well have been. There are a lot of possible factors that apply to pedestrians to make us understand how these accidents happen. Any of them could have been the prime cause of the accident. But none will apply to the defense of the driver in Japan. Its simply not fair. The so-called justice system in this country refuses to accept the human limitations of human drivers, and give pedestrians the right of way even if they stick a hand out and break their hand on your mirror. (research atariya).

Again, another silly assumption. Just a couple of months ago, a driver was vindicated and absolved from a vehicular manslaughter charge, because it was found that the cyclist was careless.

That was the first time ever! Made possible because rules on bicycles have changed and the cyclist ran a red light. But this is a pedestrian, not a cyclist! Pedestrians have the right of way unless they literally fall out of the sky! (that happened once too!) You won't be comforted by that one time ruling if you hit a pedestrian through no fault of your own. I might say you might run, but I strongly suspect you don't drive! Thus your lack of empathy.

That doesn't mean that any cyclist riding in the street deserve to be hit and killed.

What is wrong with you? You keep shoving words down my throat. Please, cease and desist. I never said or implied anyone deserves to be hit and killed. I simply said that sometimes pedestrians get themselves hit by their own reckless behavior.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

there are plenty of aggressive drivers, even there is cross walk painted in yellow, even you have light color clothing on, they still tried to run you over and not yield to pedestrians. it is like an adventure to cross the street even i am not 75.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It was 4 a.m.! You are trying WAY too hard to find fault with my messages!

Just because it was 4am doesn't mean that it was pitch black at the crime scene. Now let me make a "fair" assumption and analysis based on what was mentioned in the article:

Police analyzed security camera footage and spotted a car belonging to Takeshi Sayama

If a surveillance camera was able to pick up what was going on in the area, then I think its somewhat safe to assume there was sufficient lighting in the area -street lamps, etc for the woman to be seen by the driver, because cameras usually need light for them to work unless it was an infrared camera which I doubt. But I will give you the benefit of the doubt and ASSUME that the area had poor visibility because it was dark. Even if that were true, cars have headlights (again, fair to assume that he as using his) and they are usually good enough to seem people several meters ahead...enough distance to stop, slow down, and or evade pedestrians. Even if all that was not available to the driver and he was driving through some black hole where no visible light was available, and the pedestrian was TOTALLY unavoidable because she was smack dab in the middle of the road with a sign on her back that says "I'm suicidal, senile, old, and a stupid deer....hit me", it still doesn't give him a reason to flee the scene (which we now know for a fact that he did -see update)

No I did not. My point was, supposing she was? If she was, could you avoid hitting her?

Do you not know what the word assume means? supposing she was? <-this is an assumption...just FYI. And could I avoid hitting a pedestrian? In most circumstances ...YES. I do it every time I drive a car. But to your point, if she was erratic and jumped right in front of my car as I was driving 60km/hr, most likely not...but I would most definitely stop to make sure she was alright, and if not, I would most definitely get help for her....because that's what you're suppose to do. You just don't think "oh well, she had it coming to her for getting in my way at 4am"...YOU JUST DON'T. I would also stick around and explain the situation, and if the evidence supports my statement, I will most likely just get off with just a fine or a few points on my record, or at worst lose my license -which SUCKS, but its a lot better than jail time. And if you run, the punishment is much more significant, you have basically admitted guilt because your statement is no longer credible, not to mention how much of a scumbag you are for not helping a lady (A HUMAN BEING) that you just hit (regardless of whose fault it was).

You won't be comforted by that one time ruling if you hit a pedestrian through no fault of your own. I might say you might run, but I strongly suspect you don't drive! Thus your lack of empathy.

One time ruling? That's not the way the law works. All rulings affect future rulings. This is called "precedence" my friend, which means that a past ruling can set a benchmark for which all future decisions on similar cases can and will be based upon. IF he had stayed and evidence points to the fact that the woman had a history of mental illness or dementia and sneaking out at ungodly hours (as you would argue), then he might have gotten an acquittal based on this precedence. But since this is hit and run, then I seriously doubt that he will get any leniency.

What is wrong with you? You keep shoving words down my throat. Please, cease and desist. I never said or implied anyone deserves to be hit and killed.

Oh Really?

The number of old people as clueless as a deer is enormous. If this old lady was one, I don't know. But arrows are pointing that direction. (WHAT ARROWS?? -WHERE?) She was not hit on the sidewalk after all and cars are not deadly silent nor invisible. Any fool knows they in the vicinity. Any fool knows where they are headed. Any fool gets out of their way.

sorry, I don't need to put words in your mouth....just need to copy and paste....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mirai, I said:

You think at 4 a.m. (think of the lighting at that time) you will absolutely be able to see and avoid hitting the senile old person

I said that because nowhere but above the arctic circle or below the antarctic circle at certain times of the year could the lighting be called excellent at 4 a.m.

Then you said:

You assumed that the lighting was poor,

....which was correct, because its 4 a.m. In Japan 4 a.m. in summer, on the east coast, is early sunrise. In driver's ed, they are careful to tell you that lighting is poor at sunrise and sunset and its easy to fail to observe things as colors become grayed in such light, and also sometimes you have the sun right in your face. But I have noticed that a great many pedestrians don't care about those things especially the old ones in Japan.

But then you said:

Just because it was 4am doesn't mean that it was pitch black

I didn't read the rest of your message for reasons I think the above should show quite clearly.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Stop the bickering folk...its very simple. If you drive a vehicle you must exercise caution at all times of the day and night. You should drive at safe speeds. You must assume that silly old duffers are going to walk out in front of you.

Yeah...I know the problems drivers have here. Their impatience at traffic lights and ped crossings. The need to get there so quickly that they actually speed up to beat the lights!! Why not leave the house 10 min early and take your time? That's what I do...never ran a red in my life. Here...its the norm. But ultimately...its the driver who must accept full responsibility for the insane actions of idiots.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Im in agreement with you @1800YOULOSE The way the japanese police and their legal system crimilizes law abiding drivers is a joke. I had a chat to a police officer from japan that told me if a pedestrian is killed in a accident the driver is locked up for 2 weeks while they investigate. This was in northern japan. Also the officer told me that if the driver was doing speed limit and was not able to stop in time then perhaps if they were going 15kmh slower then accident would not have happened!!! This line of reasoning is beyond belief when a drivers life is being ruined through stupid laws. In most countries through europe , australia, NZ etc if a pedestrian is crossing road without looking and driver was driving within the rules and they are hit and driver tried to pullup in time but couldnt then it is declared as accident and generally driver is protected from criminal liability.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"But ultimately...its the driver who must accept full responsibility for the insane actions of idiots."

Giving people only half the power but all the responsibility is not only unfair, its bad policy. It invites a feeling of special privilege among those with no need to take responsibility for their own bad actions, and yes, bizarrely, some people will take their chances with motor vehicles secure in the knowledge they will win in court, and never mind the fact that they will likely be in a box.

Yes, I know there are careless selfish drivers too. But hammering all drivers for the actions of idiots is not going to fix that problem, nor induce drivers to stop running from accidents. I could be wrong, but I believe Japan has an unusually high number of runners among developed nations. Guess why.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

How could't you notice you hit somebody hard enough to kill him/her? Regardless of whether he's saying truth or not, he shouldn't have used a car in the first place.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would bet my right nut that this guy was either speeding to get home, drunk, on his phone, watching the TV...or a combination of all of them.

He is pulling the old..."I surely cant be charged if I'm not aware I hit anybody routine"

Who wouldn't be aware of hitting a person? Well if he aint then maybe he is too old to be driving anyhoo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I simply told you where my default lies until I find out otherwise

You are actually off the mark, it all depends on the where, but with the exception of the toll roads pedestrians have the right of way on all roads in Japan.

Vehicular manslaughter, being convicted of it does not automatically send a person to prison here, hit and run, that's a different story, and at 75 chances are the driver really didnt know he hit anything.

Police take into account the circumstances and do not automatically seek to convict a person or send them to jail without just cause. If the person ran out between the cars, was lying in the middle of the road, whatever, the circumstances are looked at and they assist in determining what if any punishment is due.

On the toll roads, if a person gets hit, they are 100% at fault.

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I would bet my right nut that this guy was either speeding to get home

@clueless Technically you would win because everyone speeds here because the speed limits are set much too low on wide roads.

Who wouldn't be aware of hitting a person?

A glancing blow could easily be enough to knock down and kill an old person. As a driver, I hear noises in the car all the time such as stones hitting the underbody, bumps and potholes making the tire contact the rim, metal shifting and popping from temperature, large but lonely raindrops hitting the roof, and so many things I cannot even be sure of. Now add music.

What makes me think its a lie is not the fact that old person is dead, but rather the fact that pieces of the car were left behind. Seems to me that much more than a glancing blow.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Agreed the fact that there were pieces of the vehicle strewn across the road indicates that it must've been more than a glancing blow.. I don't drive a car in Japan but I used to drive all the time back in the UK. I ride a motorbike every day to and from work and that is dangerous for myself and for other people who may step out in front of me..but I like to think I ride responsibly and within safe speed limits. I couldn't live with myself if I had caused the death of another person from my own reckless actions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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