crime

81-year-old driver arrested after plowing into group of children

40 Comments

Police in Kikugawa, Shizuoka Prefecture, have arrested an 81-year-old man after the car he was driving hit a group of elementary school children, injuring five of them, on Thursday.

The incident occurred at around 7:30 a.m. as the children were on their way to school, Fuji TV reported. Police said they were walking along a three-meter-wide road with no sidewalk when Genji Ikki hit them from behind with his vehicle and kept going.

Five of the children, aged between 7 and 11, were injured, one of them seriously. They were part of a group of 30 children walking in single file toward a T-junction with no traffic lights.

Police said Ikki, who lives in Iwata, has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in injury. He was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

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40 Comments
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I hope none of the children were killed by the old man

5 ( +9 / -4 )

In my area, I often see preschool staff marshalling large groups of children along the edges of busy but sidewalk-less roads, and I think, "That's an accident waiting to happen."

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Throw the book at the horrible old grub.

I just hope those poor kids pull through.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

He didn't stop because he probably didn't notice.

I had an oldie skim me a few months back while riding my bike. He then went straight through two sets of red lights. I thought he knew I was hot on his tail, but when I caught up with him it was obvious he didn't have a clue. Really shouldn't be on the road... Take care , they are out there!

18 ( +18 / -0 )

I bet he didn’t even notice he’d hit anything. Some of the driving from the oldies is unbelievable.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Society should be realistic. We all get old, and senses and reaction time diminish, that is just a fact. If I reach 81, I will definitely not drive a vehicle other than a bicyle (where I am only a danger to myself).

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Absolutely tragic. Thoughts are with those physically injured (one seriously) and those who escaped yet witnessed the event.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's pretty clear that another type of test is needed for obtaining or renewing a driver's license: a reaction speed test. Maybe there should be a driver simulation "game" car at the government licensing centers for such a reaction test.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Tell me and @BoatyMcBoatface about it, @MrKipling. This ‘fogger’ (relax,… referencing possible ‘dimmed eyesight’ at 80+) probably didn’t have the mental acuity either and just kept going.

Having just renewed with a surge of people last week, suspect the eye test for some was a sham during that cattle call. - Get these old foggers off the roads for good during the next seasonal roadblocks.

*- @MrKipling 5:32pm: “He didn't stop because he probably didn't notice.*

I had an oldie skim me a few months back while riding my bike. He then went straight through two sets of red lights. I thought he knew I was hot on his tail, but when I caught up with him it was obvious he didn't have a clue. Really shouldn't be on the road...

Agreed: - “*Take care , they are out there!**” -*

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan needs to seriously crack down on elderly drivers and start implementing a system where they either give up their licenses after a certain age or having to take an annual test to prove they can still get behind the wheel. While they're at it, perhaps start adding more sidewalks to the roads and streets here.

Poor little ones. I hope they recover swiftly and I hope they get the justice they deserve by tossing this man in jail. No treating him with kid gloves just because he's of an advanced age.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is not just the old man who was driving the car that should be prosecuted and sent to prison. Planners from city hall that design roads that put the convenience of motor vehicles over the safety of pedestrians should also be held accountable.

There is not much that can realistically be done. My son walks to elementary school everyday on a similar road (narrow, no sidewalk). There is no possible way for him to get from our house to his school other than walking at least partly on streets like that (and the same is true of all kids in our neighborhood) and no possible way to physically alter those streets short of the city tearing down every single last house that is built on them to expand it, which isn't even remotely feasible.

Thus they have to rely on volunteers keeping an eye on kids walking the route and drivers not driving like idiots. For the latter I think the best way to do it is, in addition to education, prosecuting violators like this guy to the full extent of the law.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

He should not have been driving. Seems certain his brains have gone south.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"But most accidents are caused by young people"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Don't tell me - he mistook the gas pedal for the brake pedal?

How many times?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Mistakes and accidents can happen. What is unforgivable is when he ran and left injured children there. Now that is something truly evil.

Hope the children will recover and be fine.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I bet he didn’t even notice he’d hit anything. Some of the driving from the oldies is unbelievable.

Yeah, but hitting five kids is something you will feel and notice. I strongly believe this guy was hitting and running.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If I reach 81, I will definitely not drive a vehicle other than a bicyle

Tricycle please. An adult one, of course.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If only the Japanese government would respond to accidents like this, like they responded to the train stabbings. How about making roads wider and getting rid of all the above ground power poles? How about requiring elderly drivers to retake their drivers test every year? I have young competent co-workers that have failed the Japanese drivers exam 3 times already. Its a money grab. But its not just the elderly, its also those that text and drive. I'd say that 80% of drivers are texting and driving. If I'm at a stop light and I look over, they're texting. If its dark out and I pass a car, I can see the light from their device on.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

WilliB

Today 05:37 pm JST

Society should be realistic. We all get old, and senses and reaction time diminish, that is just a fact.

There's too much ingrained respect for the elderly here for anything like that to be acknowledged, no matter how useless and stupid they actually are.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

His relative should of took. his keys away

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I read 81 years old I started to have sympathy for the old fart but when I read "He was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident". I say let him rock himself away in jail for the rest of his life.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

YrralToday  12:18 am JST

His relative should of took. his keys away

should have taken NOT "should of took."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have young kids. The neighborhood has small streets with few continuous sidewalks. People zip up and down the mountain road. Young people drive crazy fast on motorcycles. Old people don't see where they're going and don't anticipate what's ahead in turns and intersections. Trucks navigate this situation with some difficulty too. Plus, people sometimes forget to turn their lights on or their brights off. I'm scared for my family.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Fighto!Dec. 10  05:21 pm JST

Throw the book at the horrible old grub.

I just hope those poor kids pull through.

Whoever witnesses this is going to have psychological scars deep inside.

And this driver is certainly old enough to know better than to hit-and-run. That's criminal. At the same time 81 is a bit old to be driver, he should turn in his keys.

I just took a drivers licence renewal test yesterday, complete with reading the letters and seeing flashes left and right. Either way, there's no excusing this incident. He knows hit-and-run ain't right, toss him in the slammer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every time I see a story about a car accident they say the driver was arrested. Do they mean charged? I understand in this case the driver fled the scene, so he should have been arrested. But I've read so many stories where there's been an "accident" and the driver was "arrested". Please someone explain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I will reach the august age of eighty in two weeks. I haven't driven a car for a year because I believe my peripheral neuropathy makes me a danger to others. I have removed temptation by donating my car to charity. Live is still good.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Every time I see a story about a car accident they say the driver was arrested. Do they mean charged? I understand in this case the driver fled the scene, so he should have been arrested. But I've read so many stories where there's been an "accident" and the driver was "arrested".

They are arrested. Charging someone with a crime is not done by the police, it's done by the prosecutors.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kids need to walk on sidewalks going to school or get some school buses. I saw elementary students in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka walking to school wearing safety helmets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i miss line that guy did not have intension to hit someone-very "normal excuse" these days in Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why not ban these types of drivers during the morning and afternoon school walk, say from 7-9h and 15-17h ?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Jessie LeeToday  10:36 am JST

Why not ban these types of drivers during the morning and afternoon school walk, say from 7-9h and 15-17h ?

"These types"? Do you mean older drivers? Drivers over 70 are tested every 3 years and it's a farce, done it. Every two or even one year would be better and the test needs to be toughened up too.

As for making it a blanket ban due to age that is not appropriate, there are dreadful drivers out there of all ages, proper policing is what is needed.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Give free public transport card to over 60's, you'll see a drop in accidents

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is really simple, pull everyone s license at 65

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Livin' in ParadiseDec. 12  11:42 am JST

This is really simple, pull everyone s license at 65

Ah, the arrogance and immaturity of the young.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

KumagaijinDec. 10  11:25 pm JST

How about making roads wider and getting rid of all the above ground power poles?

Have you really thought that one through?

I'd say that 80% of drivers are texting and driving.

So, in your opinion 4 out of 5 drivers are texting whilst driving? Really?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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