crime

8-year-old boy run over, killed by truck at crossing

36 Comments

An 8-year-old boy was run over and killed at a crosswalk in Yokohama, police said Tuesday.

According to police, elementary school student Hinata Onishi was crossing the street in Totsuka Ward on his bicycle at about 4:30 p.m. Monday, when he became caught up in the front left wheel of a truck that was heading toward him. TBS reported that he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The 46-year-old driver of the truck, who has been named as Akitaka Fukatsu, was arrested at the scene on a charge of negligent driving resulting in injury. Police said they will upgrade the charge negligent driving resulting in death.

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36 Comments
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Im not surprised anymore.... Either at the fact an 8 year old was out entirely unaccompanied on a bike (where were the parents?) or that he was hit by a truck (why did he not see the boy?)

-10 ( +1 / -12 )

Facebook, gaming, mailing, blogging on his smartphone, no doubt.

-7 ( +1 / -9 )

kimuzukashiiiii, although this is tragic, ALL of my friends and I were riding bikes without a parent being around at the age of 8.

By the 2nd or 3rd grade having mom or dad around while riding bikes would've been embarrassing. 8 is old enough.

Now whether the boy suddenly swerved in front of the truck or the truck driver wasn't paying attention and caused the accident we can't tell from this article.

16 ( +15 / -1 )

In all fairness to the driver since the exact circumstances are not listed in the article; There are many close calls everyday caused by children walking in the road or crossing on red lights that demonstrate how important driver vigilance is here in Japan. There are children as young as 5 years old walking around unaccompanied all the time. Accidents like this are bound to happen. I feel sorry for the family and the child that had his life cut off too soon but also I feel for the driver of the truck as he has to live with the memory of taking a child's life. It is sad for all involved.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Am I the only one, when I see kids playing on the road as they do or on their bikes..particularly the younger ones...I slow down to a crawl until I have safely passed them. I don`t see many people doing this. Having children of my own I live in fear of this news every day. Rest in Peace little one.

10 ( +11 / -2 )

This is why I hate letting my kids ride on their own. What kind of world do we live in when we can't even let our kids go to the local library without having us parents worry ???

-1 ( +3 / -3 )

I think that there is too much blame being posted on the kid.

First of all, an 8 year old is not too young to be riding a bike alone. As long he/she is aware of basic traffic safely laws (look both ways, stop at read lights etc) it should not be an issue.

Secondly the article said the he was in a crosswalk. This tells me that the fact that he was riding a bike is irrelevant. He could have been walking and struck by the same truck. The only thing that would make the boy remotely negligent is if he crossed on a red light (which the article didn't mention). But even so, pedestrians always have the right of way.

No matter what, the driver is a fault here, especially if he was in the intersection on a red or yellow light.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

I have kids and in a big city like this every morning I tell them: "Be careful when crossing the road". I am so worried. We have a very dangerous junction. Every day I see cars driving over the red light. I cannot rely on the traffic lights and go.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The story mentions 'crossing'.....is it referring to a simple pedestrian (zebra) crossing without traffic lights (which is what i presume it means), or the crossing at an intersection with traffic lights? In all my years in Japan I can count on one hand how many times I have seen cars stop for pedestrians wanting to cross at a (zebra) crossing where we live. Even when someone does stop, most times the cars (especially scooters) going the other are very reluctant to stop. I cringe when I see kids high tail it across the crossing just because one car has stopped without checking carefully if there is anything else coming along side it or the other way.

4 ( +3 / -0 )

I think that japanese drivers are dangerous. Am I the only one ? Several times I saw cars running towards me as I was crossing the road (no traffic light but a stop sign). Naturally, I thought the driver had noticed me. But he hadn't and kept running toward me until he noticed me at the last moment and had to braked suddenly. How can you not notice someone standing right in front of your car. Where was the driver looking? The same thing happened to me in front of a convenient store. A car entered the parking and didn't notice me. That's why I am always very careful because if someting goes wrong the one likely to die is me, not the driver of the car.

5 ( +6 / -2 )

@Ewan Huzarmy You can say the same about the driver, we don't know what happened, maybe the kid was impulsive (saw his friends accros the street)or the driver was not paying attention. RIP Kid

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not enough info in the article. Did the crosswalk have a stop light. Did the young boy cross on the green or against the red? Did the truck driver fail to stop????

My son is 12 and I still crap myself every time he goes out on his bike without me. I've seen it many times, drivers focused on their cell phones, going right through a red light. I always tell my son to never cross until ALL cars in both directions have come to a complete stop.

RIP little man! Sympathies to mom and dad!

3 ( +2 / -0 )

A pedestrian crossing is strictly for walking people, not running, not skateboarding, and of course not on the bicycle. If the driver did not cross over a red light and if he was not overspeeding, or otherwise if he wasn't breaking any rules, I can't the reason for arrest.

-7 ( +2 / -8 )

Speed - ALL of my friends and I were riding bikes without a parent being around at the age of 8.

They may be so, but your friends were also taught road safety. Yesterday I saw a group os 70 odd 4 and five y/o kids from the local kindergarten. They were standing at the signal with a few teachers. When the light changed the teacher yelled, "Leta go!" and the whole lot of them ran across the road. Of course, half a dozen of them fell over in a screaming heap in the middle of the road and the rest of them were scattered all the road like sheep while the 'teachers' attended to the ones screaming and bleeding in the middle of the intersection. Correct me if I am wrong, but we were taught to NEVER run across the road and to look both ways twice. These kids were only taught to wait for the signal and bolt across the road. We were also taught to not ride your bike across the road, especially on a crossing. Yeah, this is a sad outcome for the boy and his family, but an all to predictable one.

-1 ( +2 / -2 )

@Disillusioned

You are assuming the kid was not being safe. And what school are you talking about???

Pedestrians here are constantly yielding to anxious truck drivers who are more worried about meeting their strict drop off and pick up quotas or feel their vehicles are tool to push their way past pedestrians that have the right of way. And if the kid was careless or not it still (at least according to Japanese traffic law) the responsibility of the driver to be able to adequately brake.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

@Speed et al' Did you miss the part where the article clearly reads: An 8-year-old boy was run over and killed at a crosswalk. A CROSSWALK. Driver has killed a boy due to utter lack of interest in other road users.

JT. Your BOLD function not working?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Is now! '-)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tigerta9 - I am not 'assuming' anything. Just stating that kids here are not taught proper road safety from an early age

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A pedestrian crossing is strictly for walking people, not running, not skateboarding, and of course not on the bicycle

Not true. I certainly hope you don't have a driving license if you believe that. In traffic law terms, a pedestrian is anyone who is not in a motor vehicle (cars, trucks, motorcycle, scooters, etc). If you hit a pedestrian EVEN if the light is green for you and red for pedestrian, YOU are at fault. In principal, the pedestrian may be wrong for crossing on a red, but the law is there to protect people from motor-vehicle/pedestrian accident, where the pedestrian will always sustain the most damage. That's the law whether you agree with it or not. Also a pedestrian crossing is not just for people on foot, but it also applies to people on bikes, kick scooters, etc. You can't think "oh, he's on a bike so I have the right to ignore his presence." You have to always yield the right of way if you are in or on a motor vehicle...PERIOD!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In my experience, truck drivers are overly confident here. They also always smoke, a distraction as good as any while driving. I see drivers daily, pressing the accelerator to squeeze their little car/truck/bike just over the red light, seemingly thinking that is acceptable as long as no other cars are in the way. Humans don't count if course.

Even though the article lack details, just from having eyes and having lived in Japan for a while, I wouldn't be all that surprised if this really was negligent driving. Truck driver making a turn, not paying attention...?

Fugeddaboudit.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Many Japanese drivers are %('&&" you all can fill in the blanks. My guess this truck driver is also an '(&'&#!!! and he ended up killing this young child. RIP 8 year old from Yokohama. As for the driver, dude rot in jail then burn in hell! ALWAYS! ALWAYS SLOW DOWN around kids, dogs, old people. WHY?? Kids, dogs, oh, cats, old people do not have much common sense and if they just jump out in front of your car and you end up killing them, do not be surprised.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Drivers here drive like they are VIPs and we have to get out of the way of them... I hate the attitude of "I'm driving so you better look out because I am driving" mentality here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think that japanese drivers are dangerous. Am I the only one ? Several times I saw cars running towards me as I was crossing the road (no traffic light but a stop sign). Naturally, I thought the driver had noticed me. But he hadn't and kept running toward me until he noticed me at the last moment and had to braked suddenly. How can you not notice someone standing right in front of your car. Where was the driver looking? The same thing happened to me in front of a convenient store. A car entered the parking and didn't notice me. That's why I am always very careful because if someting goes wrong the one likely to die is me, not the driver of the car

Ah.....you didn't have your hand raised above your head did you? The driver saw you but didn't know you were actaully crossing the street because he didn't see your hand. He thought you were an optical illusion. (sarcastically speaking of course)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree that there's not nearly enough information on the subject, but given that the driver has been arrested on the charge of negligence resulting in an accident (now death), I'm guessing there's a little more we're not being told. If it is indeed a 'zebra' crosswalk and the kid was riding down the street and SUDDENLY made a 90 degree turn to cross the street the driver might not have had time to react. Ditto if the kid were crossing at an intersection on a red. Beyond that I can imagine the hundreds of times I've seen drivers -- especially trucks, taxis, and motorcycles run reds, and those who are watching something else while they turn (I almost got whacked last night as a cabbie turned right while I was going through an intersection because the cabbie was watching some construction on the left while he turned. Fortunately he saw me in time -- which is to say he turned his eyes back to the road) or otherwise drive.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I agree that there's not nearly enough information on the subject, but given that the driver has been arrested on the charge of negligence resulting in an accident (now death),

That is SOP when a pedestrian is killed regardless of the circumstances. However, I do agree that many drivers in Japan, both truck and car are complete 'trucktards' with very little or no regard for any other road user, be they vehicular or pedestrian. How many cars do you see drive through red lights everyday? How many times have you seen some twit racing up a side street at 80-90k just to make the next signal? People don't use indicators. They don't stop at stop signs. They never stop at pedestrians crossings. There generally impatient, discourteous and belligerent. Combine these factors with kids that are not taught correct road safety and you get many senseless deaths such as this one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Caught in front wheel... somehow this doesnt seem like the truck fault ... kid probably rammed into the wheel . Sorry the driver has to go thru that.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Hayashi

Not true. I certainly hope you don't have a driving license if you believe that. In traffic law terms, a pedestrian is anyone who is not in a motor vehicle (cars, trucks, motorcycle, scooters, etc)

Please learn the law yourself before advising others to do so. It is in no case allowed to cross the road while riding a bicycle, as it is seen as a lightweight vehicle. This is unless the child crossed on green on a crossing with bicycle lane, and he used the bicycle lane (but then the driver crossed on red).

If there was no traffic light, if the child crossed while on the bicycle (and probably suddenly), even the most careful driver can be put in a horrible situation.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A little boy is dead and two parents are going through something no parent should have to go through. My heart goes out to them.

Disillusioned - dont know what rubbishy kindergarten you saw but I am constantly impressed seeing little kids cross the road here. Lined up holding hands in pairs, one teacher on one side of the crossing, one on the other and one in the middle, and all the kids ith their free arm held high in the air to be easily seen.

Of course, it all changes when they are not in school and with their mother walking 20 meters ahead of them nose buried in a cell phone while they run across the street behind her.

Do agree with this bit though:

However, I do agree that many drivers in Japan, both truck and car are complete 'trucktards' with very little or no regard for any other road user, be they vehicular or pedestrian. How many cars do you see drive through red lights everyday? How many times have you seen some twit racing up a side street at 80-90k just to make the next signal? People don't use indicators. They don't stop at stop signs. They never stop at pedestrians crossings. There generally impatient, discourteous and belligerent

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ebisen

I do know the law. I have driver's licenses in 2 countries - Japan and the US (3 at one point until I let one expire, and my license in the States was a professional driver's license) The laws are ALWAYS consistent everywhere: PEDESTRIANS ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY. This is not up for debate; it is fact, and it is the law...period.  You can debate as to whether bicyclist are allowed on sidewalks with walking pedestrians, but that is not what is in question here. The question is who had the right of way. And as I stated, the basic traffic law states that the pedestrian does, and in court of law, a pedestrian will win over a driver 99.99999% of the time, with the very EXTREMELY rare exception of pedestrians being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if they can be proven that act was on purpose (当たりや), or if they run a red light and the driver had no time to brake on time...in which case the driver would still be liable but would probably receive a reduced fine/sentence.

Here is the law for you:

もっとも上記のような実状とは無関係に、横断歩道・自転車横断帯(赤信号等により横断禁止されているものを除く)を横断している歩行者・自転車に衝突し交通事故を起こした場合、民事上も刑事上も自動車側の過失が100%[4]とされ、横断側が死傷した場合には自動車運転過失致死傷罪に問われるなど、きわめて重い責任が課せられる。

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One last thing...a bicycle is NOT a light weight vehicle. Scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles are light weight vehicle, which all require some form of operators license. Bicycles are considered an extension of the pedestrian, hence no operator's license is required and anyone can ride one.. That is why they do not (although they really should) get traffic tickets for going through red lights, riding on the wrong side of the road, or being over capacity. If they were really light weight vehicles, the J-police would be very busy fining bad cycling and ticketing illegal bicycle parking, which is very rarely done/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not enough information here to really place blame. The driver was probably charged simply because such a charge is automatic when a pedestrian is struck. We don't know ANY of the details, only the results.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Marai Hayashi; the police don't do their jobs properly with the cars / motorbikes, so they certainly will not with the bicycles.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Regardless of the actual circumstances of this tragic accident there is no space for children in Japanese megapolis! How teaching them to become independent, playing outdoor with friends? Impossible!

A shame when living in one of the most secure city in the world.

And no sign to have that improved. Most of the parks are biking forbidden, ball playing forbidden, ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hayashi - yeah, let me google that for you:

http://www.police.pref.kanagawa.jp/mes/mesf0178.htm

Stated clearly:

自転車は車両の一種ですから、道路交通法に定められているルールを守らなければいけません。 関連条文 道路交通法(以下、道交法)第2条第1項第8号、11号、11号の2

The bicycle is considered a vehicle, therefore must obey the traffic laws bla and bla.

You seem to be able to read Japanese, therefore please read the rest for yourself. Specifically, it is never stated anywhere anything about any priority a bicycle has in front of a car.

Oh yeah, it also states this:

横断歩道は歩行者のためのものですから、横断歩道を渡るときは、歩行者の妨害をしないように気を付けて渡りましょう。

"While crossing a pedestrian cross, freaking dismount and WALK ".

So yes, I won't believe you but this web page.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think a bicycle may be considered a vehicle in some circumstances. A Japanese friend even said that you can be fined for riding a bicycle when drunk???? True???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ebisen - exactly, a bike is a light vehicle which is also supposed to give way to cars according to japanese law. Bicycle going red is and can be stopped and ticketed ( although its rarely done ) bike vs car collision is a traffic accident involving 2 vehicles, and really not always won in in favor the bicycle, which is also if you ride a bike, get proper bike insurance.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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