Japan Today

8-year-old girl on bike killed after being hit by minibus


An 8-year-old girl riding a bike was killed after being hit by a minibus in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, on Friday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 6 p.m. at a crossroad with no traffic lights, Fuji TV reported. Police said the girl, identified as Jessica Yuki Kinjo, of Brazilian nationality, was riding through the intersection when she was hit by the bus coming from the right. The girl sustained severe head injuries and was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Police have arrested the minibus driver, Ichiro Sasamoto, 63, on a charge of dangerous driving resulting in death. He was quoted as saying he saw the girl suddenly ride across the intersection from the narrow side road but he couldn't stop in time.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

This is really sad, but honestly I don't think it's the driver's fault... it was an accident..

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Doesn't anybody remember that in 2006 it became law for all children under 13 to wear helmets on bicycles? Obviously not! Of course there is not enough information in this article to conclude a helmet would have saved her life, but the chances are very high that it would have.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

"Crossroad" or "intersection" doesn't accurately describe the location (according to this screen-grab from a Japanese news report). If the poor girl rode straight out onto the main road there would have been nothing the bus-driver could have done. I can't even see a warning sign indicating emerging traffic. https://postimg.org/image/n53a3tsyb/

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Depends how fast he was going and it sounds like it was too fast.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Both their minds were probably somewhere else at the time. Probably on their destinations. Most accidents like this have the same cause. It's a pity she paid the price.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The 'road' the girl emerged from had no 'yield' sign no '止マレ' painted on the road - nothing. Surely either or both of those are required to describe a junction as an "intersection" (in road traffic parlance).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"The 'road' the girl emerged from had no 'yield' sign no 'tomare' painted on the road - nothing."

This is not the problem. Even if I were on a road, street, alley or passage that had no yield or stop signs, I would slow enough to make sure nothing was coming, then proceed. People, especially kids, are taught to rely too much on traffic signs rather than use their own caution and judgment. It's a pity Jessica will no longer have that chance.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

'Bill' we're arguing at cross purposes. I'm not trying to defend the girl but point out that the story as written here leads the reader to assume this was a 50/50 intersection. The exact location is easy enough to identify on Google Maps. <>https://goo.gl/maps/Qt2Pkx5kwdL2

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not arguing Jon. I used the quote in my post in case people don't scroll up. I know you are not defending the girl. I'm not attacking the girl. It was a real waste of a young life.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have an 8yr old daughter too, so this scares me and breaks my heart! Both she and her older sister have helmets and orders from "Papa" to wear them. But I've caught both of them riding without them! Very scary!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

At a 50/50 intersection are you supposed to give way to the right ? If is that makes it the girls mistake. However being in Japan the bigger vehicle is always in deep poo poo no matter what happened. Very sad

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Hang the driver! Any intersection, especially one with no lights or signals a car has to slowdown! That is the rule and too many drivers dont get or dont use it.. i hope he will be made an example and given death sentence

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.

well a bicycle is a car by Japanese law

0 ( +5 / -5 )

So sad for the family, I hope they can be comforted. I always beg my granddaughters to be careful, You'd have to put me away if this happened to one of them

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I guess it is not the driver fault , a lot of bicycle rider specially old men and women they appear from no where in front of the car while driving , specially from side roads, they do not stop to check the incoming traffic ...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

When my one of the best universities going daughter was small I spent tons of time to teach her how to be safe on bicycle.Just last month she got her driving license, now I am trying to be with her side as much as possible. Anyway very sad.RIP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is heart breaking and horrible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He was quoted as saying he saw the girl suddenly ride across the intersection from the narrow side road but he couldn’t stop in time.

Not defending the driver here, but this sounds lifted from the list of predefined - and self-incriminating where 弱者 jyakusha (lit. weaker parties) are involved - accident causes. Deviation from this wasn't tolerated in our case, and Mrs Sense was obliged to sign.

No fault on the poor little girl or, indeed, her parents. The current system of near total impunity for cyclists perpetuates personal irresponsibility while innocent motorists lose at best loot, and at worst livelihood and even liberty. Yes, cyclists and other road users must be protected, and the best way to do this is to train cyclists to ride responsibly, and perhaps remove their seeming immunity from prosecution.

The 'road' the girl emerged from had no 'yield' sign no '止マレ' painted on the road

This was used by the cop in our case to defend the cyclist who flew out onto a much larger road on us. Luckily the latter was largely uninjured as Mrs Sense was already mere metres away from a red light. If the light had been green, heaven forbid, the cyclist, and my wife's ability to care for two generations, would be history today.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

An 8 year old girl has no business being on the road with a bicycle. Parents should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But in Japan nothing happens.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Japanese streets are not save for children and this is one of the reasons I didn't stay when our child was born. More needs to be done to separate traffic and pedestrians.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

An 8 year old girl has no business being on the road with a bicycle

Prefer to bind her feet? Wrap her in cotton wool? Keep her frightened of the big bad world?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

No traffic lights, fine, but were there at least some stop signs at the crossroads? If there were a lack of any road signs, than that could be a factor.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

An 8 year old girl has no business being on the road with a bicycle.

What a ridiculous comment. There are any number of reasons for an 8 year old girl to be on the road on a bicycle.

Parents should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

And you follow it with an even more ridiculous comment.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Many bicycle-related crashes resulting in injury or death are associated with the bicyclist’s behavior, including such things as not wearing a bicycle helmet, riding into a street without stopping, turning left or swerving into traffic that is coming from behind, running a stop sign, and riding the wrong way in traffic. To maximize your safety, always wear a helmet AND follow the rules of the road. CAN an 8 year old do this? NOPE. Case closed.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No excuse. Whenever approaching an intersection drivers should always slow down and show due caution even if they have the right of way.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Alex, there are lots of factor that you don't know about, just hanging the driver is a bit over the top, we don't know IF he was speeding, he might have been traveling at the correct speed, when a child (If this is the case) come cycling quickly out between a building or some where its poor visibility, it could be the childs fault, either way this is a sad story and Iam sure all of our hearts goes out to her parents for there tragic sad loss.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If he drives anything like the bus and truck drivers in my town then he was probably way over the speed limit and had no chance to brake in time.

The article doesn't say so I can't be sure, but I see trucks and buses go way too fast all the time. They can't even stop for the signal change because they're too fast to stop in time, so they go over red. Have seen this many times, and on a school Road no less.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If "common sense" doesn't exist or the "instinct for self-preservation" has been lost, we'll just read about more Darwin Awards.

Defensive driving, bicycling and walking need to be taught. The latter two at home by the family. No manga reading, no smartphone game playing, no texting, no listening to music while bicycling or walking (and certainly not while driving). No distractions. A curtailment of freedom? Take your pick. Jessica will never reach my age.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Brian, it doesnt matter what factors we dont know about, car should come to a halt on any intersection ,especially one with no lights.. it absolutely does not matter, what the girl did, fact that he was travelling on intersection at speed high enough to kill a person, requires a death sentence and homicide charge

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In the UK some years ago there was public safety films that was run on TV. it showed children and adults how to be safe crossing the road. for some reason it all been stopped, but I think it should be retransmitted as people have forgot. may be they should do it in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The charge in the US would be vehicular manslaughter punishable by imprisoment for, quite often, 3 years depending on the state. I assume in Japan it would be treated in a similar way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

RIP little one :(

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder if she was wearing a helmet, possible but sadly it seems not. I nearly learned that lesson the hard way when I was 11, a 6 week stay in hospital and I now consider myself extremely fortunate. Everyone should wear a helmet when cycling.

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