crime

86-year-old man pleads not guilty to reckless driving causing death and injury

11 Comments

An 86-year-old man who was arrested for hitting two high school students while driving in Maebashi, Gunma, killing one and injuring another, pleaded not guilty to reckless driving resulting in death and injury at the opening session of his trial on Wednesday.

The Maebashi branch of the Gunma District Court heard that prior to the accident at around 8:25 a.m. on Jan 9, Kiyokatsu Kawabata had repeatedly ignored his family's request not to drive as he had recently caused a minor accident.

The two girls -- Miku Oshima, 18, and Sakura Ota, 16 -- were hit by Kawabata’s car as they were heading to their high school on their bicycles for an opening ceremony for the new term. Ota was run down first and Oshima was also hit before the man's vehicle overturned after bumping into a wall. They both fell into a coma. Oshima recovered, but Ota died.

Kawabata’s defense said the accident occurred before he realized what had happened. There was no sign at the accident site that brakes had been applied. Kawabata said that he had not heard any warning from his doctor that he shouldn’t drive.

In recent years, the rate of traffic accidents caused by people aged 75 or older in Japan has been on the increase.

Japan has begun implementing a stricter cognitive function test for elderly people who wish to renew their driver's license as authorities bid to curb the rise of serious traffic accidents. The government has also been campaigning for elderly drivers to voluntarily give up their licenses.

© Kyodo/Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

11 Comments
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that's it blame it on your doctor not telling youdon't you think he has better things to do than to monitor your driving

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Poor girls. It makes a strong case for autonomous vehicles.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Pathetic old piece of trash. He's a butcher. Too selfish to even own up to his heinous crime.

He realy deserves to spend the rest of his pathetic life in jail alone.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Blames his doctor. Typical coming from the land of highchair tyrants.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Kawabata’s defense said the accident occurred before he realized what had happened.

So his defense agrees he shouldn't be behind the wheel then?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not to say that the old man is blameless but, people on bicycles tend to ride without giving a second thought to traffic.  I have learned to be extremely cautious when driving on narrow roads that are close to schools.

S

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Take them all of the road at 70, and give them bus passes.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kawabata’s defense said the accident occurred before he realized what had happened. 

That's exactly why he shouldn't be driving - driving unaware can be deadly.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Kiyokatsu Kawabata had repeatedly ignored his family's request not to drive as he had recently caused a minor accident.

The courts should look at the fact that he CHOSE to ignore his family begging him not to drive because of his history. This being the case, he knew what he was doing was wrong and the dangers he could cause if he continues. Now he cannot even own up for selfishly snubbing out the light of a young girl's possible bright future.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He is too old to walk let alone drive. HIs family was too weak to stop him from murdering, which is what this is. It is murder. All old drivers are dangerous. They drive too slow and often stop in the middle of the road as they are confused.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I do hope the day doesn't come when an accused person is obligated to plead guilty.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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