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8-year-old girl killed by truck while crossing street with mother, sister


An 8-year-old girl was hit and killed by a truck as she crossed a street with her mother and younger sister in Tama, Tokyo.

Police said they have arrested the truck driver, shipping company employee Daisuke Matsumoto, 44, on a charge of reckless driving resulting in death, TV Asahi reported.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The girl, Manaka Kusuda, was on a bicycle and was following her mother and little sister across the intersection on a green light, when the truck made a left turn into the intersection and hit her. She was taken to hospital with severe head injuries and died about three hours later.

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Very sad news, too many zebra crossings close to corners imo.


3 ( +7 / -4 )

RIP and could have been prevented with a bike helmet, which is now a law for kids to wear.

-24 ( +2 / -26 )

There is nothing to suggest a bike helmet would have saved her from serious injury, but it 'could' have saved her life. I often ask parents and kids why they aren't wearing a bike helmet. The reactions and expressions on their faces is amusing. Laws without penalties or enforcement are only guidelines.

-3 ( +8 / -13 )

and there is nothing to suggest that she wasn't wearing a helmet in this article. but once again, a "good" chance to bash japan.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Few Japanese drivers bother to slow down at zebra crossings.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Why are you people blaming the poor child and her family??? The fault lies totally with the driver, not the family. We don't even know if she was wearing a helmet or not.

Show some sympathy for people who are grieving, folks.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

RickyVee - there is nothing to suggest that she wasn't wearing a helmet in this article. but once again, a "good" chance to bash japan.

Yeah, nothing in the article besides the fact she died of severe head injuries, of course! Is it bashing Japan to state the obvious that, wearing a bicycle helmet is law for under 13 year olds and the law is not enforced resulting in less than 10% of kids actually wearing them? Is that Japan bashing?

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Yeah, nothing in the article besides the fact she died of severe head injuries, of course

A helmet is not a magic shield. It's still very possible to suffer severe head trauma while wearing one.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Disillusioned - you're speaking too much common sense for some.

And in my prefecture - what the laws state re traffic rules and what people do at times bear no similarities. Especially in the case of child safety.

Possibly the same country wide.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

How terrible for her mother and younger sister... They will be marked for life by this accident that happened right behind them. Rest in peace little girl.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I see Japanese drivers go steady on yellow and red lights every day in Tokyo. I'm genuinely surprised not more people are hurt. Not to be rude, but so far the "bad asian driver" stereotype has proven to be true, and it's not because of this article. People don't care about traffic lights or rules, it seems.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Guys, I really don't know what's going on with all the zebra crossing comments and speeding through lights. True that drivers here have serious problems in terms of going through reds (just changed or not) and not stopping or slowing down at zebra crossings, but zebra crossing or not in this case they were crossing at an INTERSECTION with a green light, and at which the driver turned left without slowing down (not went through the light). It's probably that he saw the mother and one daughter going through and timed it to turn just after them, not bothering to check for and not seeing the girl on her bike -- but that is still gross negligence, and the man deserves a long sting in prison for vehicular manslaughter, not just negligence. This is yet ANOTHER death of a young person by a negligent driver this week, and I'm getting sick of always hearing about police waiting until AFTER the fact to do anything about the driving here.

As for the whole helmet thing, we don't know if she was wearing one (I doubt it), and we don't know exactly how she sustained the injuries (from being hit/run over or hitting the ground after being knocked over). If it was her being knocked over and her head hitting the pavement and that being what killed her, she could have survived if she were wearing a helmet (if she was not), probably, but it's beside the point. Laws definitely need to be enforced here in regards to both driving and riding safety, but that won't help this little girl any. RIP.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The fault lies totally with the driver, not the family.

While this maybe true, there are other issues in play. The family was crossing at a green light and the stupid way Japan has designed it's junctions means the driver ALSO had a green light. Pedestrians and cars should NOT be on the road at the same time, common sense... or so I thought in the UK.

Let's see (without having the full details), small child, possibly high seating position for the truck driver, accidents happen. Also I have seen MANY times cyclists and pedestrians cross the road with total disregard for their safety.... because accidents are always the car/truck drivers fault right? No meaning when you're dead. RIP little girl

1 ( +8 / -7 )

The Police are at fault, they never post themselves near pedestrian crossings to catch law breakwrs not stopping and speed through crossings. I myself was almost hit twice by cars refusing to slowdown and or stop rven though Inwas already halfway tgrough the crossing, the drivers look at you as if they are in the right.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

A helmet is not a magic shield. It's still very possible to suffer severe head trauma while wearing one.

Yes, but the risk is significantly reduced. And yes, as others have mentioned many drivers in Japan don't bother to slow down at pedestrian / zebra crossings. They might as well be invisible

2 ( +3 / -1 )

RIP Manaka-chan. No detail changes the fact that you will not live a full life. And that is the biggest tragedy here.

@smithinjapan has it exactly right. We don't have enough details here to even begin to determine cause, contributing factors and fault. We can all speculate based on our experiences and knowledge of life in Japan, but in the end, we don't have enough information.

One thing I am certain of is that neither Manaka's family nor the driver woke up Tuesday with any desire or thought other than to go out and live life normally. And until evidence shows otherwise, we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt. And say a prayer or offer up a thought for them.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Just another day in Japan where a truck driver takes out another kid. When was the last time you saw one of these animals slow down for a red light, not tailgate, not read a manga or not talk on the phone? I know I can't remember.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It is a tragedy, but it gives me hope that police in Japan don't hesitate to arrest the drivers who hit and kill pedestrians and cyclists and charge them with reckless driving causing death. That is as it should be, people who drive are responsible for what they do, they are the ones driving tons of steel down the road at great speeds and creating danger for everyone, they should be held accountable when they don't operate their machines safely.

In North America, drivers who hit and kill pedestrians often just get sent home and are never bothered again, unless they are drunk when they do it. Even when they are wildly at fault, like hitting a pedestrian crossing the street on a crossing and with the light, they at most get a summons for not respecting right of way and a small fine.

I'm not kidding, search for "Allison Liao".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Helmet or no helmet, a little girl on a bicycle being hit by a truck will highly likely result in something bad.

RIP little one

1 ( +2 / -1 )

An 8-year-old girl was hit and killed by a truck as she crossed a street with her mother and younger sister.

So she was with her mother.

The girl, Manaka Kusuda, was on a bicycle and was following her mother and little sister across the intersection.

She was following behind her mother?

I have seen that happen many times, a parent ignoring the elder kid and assuming all will be well.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@ smith

Do you drive in Japan out if interest? Zebra crossing are located far tooooo close to intersections so driver see the on coming road is clear but are late in noticing that the "crossing" is full of people who are totally blind of the world around them. Im a good driver even if i say so myself (3cars ahead 2 behind rule) but knowing the native mentally (nothing matters other than where i am going and what color the light is.)

Has any1 else ever crossed the light when its red but aware the traffic is clear and watched the i phone zombies follow ?…...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

kchoze: I'm not kidding, search for "Allison Liao".

Dashcam video of accident, at mark 2:12 of video: https://vimeo.com/96854879

NY, driver had a couple of glasses of wine in him but under the blood level limit, left turn on green light (no dedicated arrow light at that intersection), hits 3-yo kid and her grandma in the crosswalk, kid dies grandma injured, driver ticketed but not arrested for "failing to exercise due care and failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk", DA doesn't pursue case, judge dismisses tickets in 47-second hearing without watching video (he asked if video existed and didn't wait for police officer's reply, went straight to dismissal), family not notified of hearing.


6 ( +6 / -0 )

Another event that never would have happened if automatic braking was on every vehicle.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Do you drive in Japan out if interest? Zebra crossing are located far tooooo close to intersections

Location of the crossing isn't the issue, green light for pedestrians and cars at the SAME time is.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

From the brief description in the article, it appears this points to a somewhat different bad driving habit to those mentioned (disregard for zebra crossings, 3-second-rule interpretation of a red light.) When turning with green for both traffic and pedestrians, instead of waiting for the crosswalk to clear, drivers will pull right up to the line and push into a gap, or even anticipate a gap in pedestrians without stopping. Even worse, this is done when turning right, leaving the car with less scope for error in avoiding oncoming traffic. Any small change in circumstance eg a kid rushing to catch up with her mother then becomes a sudden and dangerous situation rather than what it is, a perfectly normal and imminently predictable occurence.

I wouldn't isolate truck drivers as monsters, as these bad habits are commonplace, and I've seen the police stop plenty of people for doing dumb things. Without knowledge of any actual statistics, I'd say that pedestrian/cyclist deaths in Japan are no more or less frequent than in other developed nations, but Japan does have its own set of particular bad driving/cycling habits, many of which really annoy me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Same thing happened to my wife's aunt, killed crossing the street on a green light at 7 am. 18 year old driver, no punishment, no fine, no time, no apology. I was almost arrested when I tried to get him to at least apologize. Watching his mother and father totally break down during their apology was heart wrenching

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Horrible!! It breaks my heart to read that this poor little girl was killed by some IDIOT in a delivery truck who did not bother to SLOW DOWN or to check that more pedestrians, cyclists were coming through. In California, the last time I checked, there was a law that CYCLISTS have to get off their bicycles and WALK them across the so called ZEBRA CROSSINGS and how I wish we had that law here in Japan because, I do drive here in Japan and I can not count the times some idiot on a bicycle with NO LIGHTS comes out of NOWHERE right into the zebra crossing, through red lights etc..this in NO WAY is making excuses for the driver in this case. RIP poor little girl and my condolences go out to her friends and family

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Slow down! Speed is the killer. I live in an area with many schools, and there for many children, in a small area. Cars, especially Taxis, bomb through this area all the time. I cringe so often at the fact of no speed bumps or other ways to get drivers to slow down.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Going straight through zebra crossings on a straight road, drivers do not stop and do not expect them to you will be hit. Turning into intersections left or right when the little man is green the drivers DO mostly stop and I assume this is what the mother and little girl expected. As a pedestrian I always rush across the crossing as fast as I can so the cars can keep going and do not have to wait, especially the right turning ones which can end up blocking through coming traffic. As a driver you have to be totally aware turning into zebra crossings that people or bikes can come from either side very quickly and also be supremely patient as some walk as slow as possible across. Its all a bit of a mess really. Drivers flying through zebra crosssings on straight roads and pedestrians walking very slowly across zebra crossings at intersections. The road is for cars , pay attention and move swiftly across the zebra crossing at intersections. Dont amble across or dawdle. Pay attention. Not all cars will stop at intersections when turning into a zebra crossing with a green man. Pay attention. Be aware. Be road safe. Actually if I walk my son home from school or if I am just crossing by myself I wave the cars through, making sure at first no one is coming from behind me. Takes maximum awareness but that courtesy and that keeps things safe and flowing smoothly. Very sad the little girl was killed. Doesnt seem to be at fault or even the mother for that matter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the driver should have been paying close attention,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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