crime

9-month-old girl being carried by mother dies after car backs into them at supermarket

48 Comments

A 9-month-old girl who was being carried by her mother died after they were hit by a car reversing out of the parking lot of a supermarket in Miyazaki City on Wednesday.

Police have arrested the 72-year-old driver of the car, Masahito Kuroki, on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death and injury, local media reported.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 11 a.m. at the Foodaly Kirishima supermarket. The mother, who is in her 30s, was carrying her daughter, Chihiru Tasaki, when they were hit by the car reversing out of its parking lane.

The mother and her daughter were taken to hospital where the daughter died about five hours later due to head injuries she sustained after falling from her mother’s arms. Her mother suffered an injury to her leg.

The parking lot was full at the time. Kuroki was quoted by police as saying he couldn’t see the woman walking behind his vehicle because of other cars parked beside him.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

48 Comments
Login to comment

At the Japanese supermarket in my area, it’s always like, “Get out of MY way! I’m coming through!”

They definitely need to place speed bumps in some of these areas with speedy drivers.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

It should be mandatory for seniors to drive cars with auto collision warning systems. That would have helped prevent this tragedy.

Speed bumps won't help when backing out of a parking space.

24 ( +28 / -4 )

@Dee

Older cars do not have these fitted so who is going to buy new cars for people whose pensions are small to begin with and getting smaller.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

How fast do you have to back 4 or 5 meters out of a parking space?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

It’s odd that everybody jumps straight on the offensive blaming the driver. Any mother with half a brain should know better than to walk behind a reversing car in a busy supermarket car park, especially carrying a baby. Both parties are at fault and caused the baby’s death.

4 ( +24 / -20 )

Kuroki was quoted by police as saying he couldn’t see the woman walking behind his vehicle because of other cars parked beside him.

No rear-view mirrors in your car, Kuroki?

Or were you engrossed in your dashboard telly?

Bad driving. Dead child. Broken family.

Send this jiji to the Big House.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

Simple way to avoid parking lot accidents: drive very slowly especially when in reverse and keep your head on a swivel. I often see people backing out of parking spots too quickly. I mean you know that there are people walking around in a parking lots.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

More needs to be said and parking lots are dangerous. People go about without any care to the world around them here. Was the mom on her phone also? Sad accident but 8 can understand having blocked views from cars parked and he should have gone slowly. Was she walking next to the rear of all the cars? Did he floor it to back? So tragic but so much missing in this story.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

What a painful tragic trauma for the mother.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Once again, when facts are few experts are many.

Without seeing it for myself or having information from a reliable witness I would hesitate before placing blame. I witness stupidity from both drivers and pedestrians in car parks almost daily.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

RIP little baby, wish the mother full recovery soon.

Many times I have seen people walk behind and between cars in parking lots without paying any attention to the cars status, or if it's about to move . Sometimes people cross the street in front of me without even looking or waiting for me to stop, Suicidal to say the least.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

I could be wrong but I think pedestrians have the right of way in a parking lot so the onus is more on drivers. Perhaps for this reason, some pedestrians let their guard down. I also often see reverse lights come on but they're reversing almost immediately which means that they might not even be looking or if they did, it was the perfunctory glance.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

drive very slowly especially when in reverse and keep your head on a swivel. I often see people backing out of parking spots too quickly. I mean you know that there are people walking around in a parking lots.

90-95% of people here back into parking spots so they can leave easily. It is always tough parking head first because of the amount of foot traffic and narrow parking lots. Not saying this is the case in this incident but I notice pedestrians are usually oblivious to cars trying to back and walk right behind your car as if you automatically see them.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Imagine for a moment that you are poor Kuroki, in your little sedan, parked nose in between a highace and an elgrande, that weren't there when you parked up. You start reversing out slowly and you hear/feel a slight bump.

Imagine for a bit longer that you are a mum walking through the carpark, bub strapped to your front thereby creating a minor blindspot as you crane your head to talk to your precious cargo. The next thing you know, your knees has been taken out and you collapse on the ground on top of baby...

There was no malicious intent and you could easily transpose someone from any gender or age into this position. Unfortunate all round. RIP little one.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

In our local stores, people reverse into parking spaces.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

> “It’s odd that everybody jumps straight on the offensive blaming the driver. Any mother with half a brain should know better than to walk behind a reversing car in a busy supermarket car park, especially carrying a baby. Both parties are at fault and caused the baby’s death.”

Windshield perspective at its worst. Victim blaming is disgusting.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

TrappedToday  08:47 pm JST

Imagine for a moment that you are poor Kuroki, in your little sedan, parked nose in between a highace and an elgrande, that weren't there when you parked up. You start reversing out slowly and you hear/feel a slight bump.

Imagine for a bit longer that you are a mum walking through the carpark, bub strapped to your front thereby creating a minor blindspot as you crane your head to talk to your precious cargo. The next thing you know, your knees has been taken out and you collapse on the ground on top of baby...

There was no malicious intent and you could easily transpose someone from any gender or age into this position. Unfortunate all round. RIP little one.

I hope that your account is actually what happened but there isn't that much information. What we do know is that the police have charged the man with negligent driving resulting death or injury. Was he negligent just because he just didn't look and see them? Sounds overly harsh. Or negligent because he used excessive speed to back out? I don't know but if it was just a bump from low speed contact, I don't know if there would have been any injuries. It does say that the mom had a leg injury. It was an accident but was there any negligence?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The onus is on the driver to insure that it is absolutely clear before (and during) reversing. "I didn't see her" is no excuse.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

No more older people driving cars!!!!!!....

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Sounds like an all-around tragedy. I have no doubt the guy could not see, but it sounds like he backed out pretty forcefully. On the other hand, why was the woman walking so close behind parked cars? Most places have spaces you can walk in front of where cars are parked (ie., places they cannot go forward and hit you (unless they mistake gas/break or reverse/forward and are going into the supermarket, over a curb).

I mirror other's sentiments, too, that drivers often think they are the priority when backing out or driving out of parking lots (or turning into them). Can't tell you how many times I've had to stop my bike, twice falling off and once hitting a car) as cars cut me off. Oh, they might well give you the "Summassen!" wave and/or nod, but they will still do it again next time unless they are made to pay for their mistake. I had one guy have to buy me a new bike, and the one I hit had to wait for the police to come and he took all the blame (got some compensation). Those types will be more careful, but never until an accident occurs. Even walking I got my elbow clipped by a rearview mirror last week. The street is narrow, mind you, but the person was still moving too fast and too close. They stopped, saw me start to walk towards them, and sped off. Wasn't injured so I didn't bother going to the police.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Was he negligent just because he just didn't look and see them? Sounds overly harsh

That's not harsh at all. If you are in control of a motorized lump of metal in an area where you know, it should know, that there are likely to be pedestrians, it is your responsibility to take care and avoid them. To not do so is by definition negligent.

He also parked with the nose facing in - most Japanese reverse into parking spaces because that make exciting safer.

For those who say the woman potentially shares some of the fault, yes, it is possible she could have taken more care, but she wasn't the one at the steering wheel.

If you are a driver a you hit a pedestrian who isn't doing anything particularly unusual, it is your fault.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

He should have backed out slowly. If he touched slowly, nothing would happen. She could scream and he would stop. He must have backed out fast. Cars should be required to have reversing cameras. They aren’t so expensive.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Don't Japanese back INTO parking spaces?

At every supermarket I've been to in Tokyo, the

cars are parked back-end first.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I remember a recent documentary in Japan about Japan's innovative slanted parking spaces. The show made such a big deal about how unique and wonderful these slanted parking spots at a rest-stop were. Just like having four seasons, they aren't unique in the world, Japan. Every Smalltown USA has slanted parking spots on their main street, and have for decades upon decades.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

MilesTegNov. 30  06:06 pm JST

Simple way to avoid parking lot accidents: drive very slowly especially when in reverse and keep your head on a swivel. I often see people backing out of parking spots too quickly. I mean you know that there are people walking around in a parking lots.

It's common sense. I always look behind me when I back out. You learn that in driving school.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm surprised because nearly everyone in this country reverse parks, especially in crowded and busy lots, like those at supermarkets.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

smithinjapan Today | 12:06 am JST "...(unless they mistake gas/break [sic] or reverse/forward and are going into the supermarket, over a curb)."

They cannot 'mistake the BREAK' because cars do not take breaks.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

heartbreaking

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Hello Kitty 321

There should be government subsidies for seniors to trade in their cars and also automakers who have profited from this senior generation should make the cars affordable for seniors. There might be a way to install the systems in older cars, but I have no information regarding this.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What we do know is that the police have charged the man with negligent driving resulting death or injury.

No, they have not charged him, they have arrested him on suspicion; big difference.

Police have arrested the 72-year-old driver of the car, Masahito Kuroki, on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death and injury, local media reported.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The parking lot was full at the time. Kuroki was quoted by police as saying he couldn’t see the woman walking behind his vehicle because of other cars parked beside him.

Not victim blaming here, probably not this case but the people here are just ridiculous, pedestrians, cyclists see your car backing out very slowly and they still make a point of passing right behind the vehicle as if its nothing, just last month I was in this full parking lot looking for a space, turned the hazard lights and started reverse parking very slowly into the tight spot and thats when I had to slam the brakes because someone decided to walk right through behind me for abs no reason at all, whenever reverse braking from the street to a narrow parking lot you have to check 10 times for bicycles coming full speed out of nowhere through the sidewalk as if your car was not there, the safest way of driving in Japan is assume everyone around you is plain dumb, keep your foot hovering that brake pedal whenever you're cruising the busiest parts of the city.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I could be wrong but I think pedestrians have the right of way in a parking lot so the onus is more on drivers. Perhaps for this reason, some pedestrians let their guard down. I also often see reverse lights come on but they're reversing almost immediately which means that they might not even be looking or if they did, it was the perfunctory glance.

Pedestrians DO have the right of way in parking lots. Even still both pedestrians and drivers should be alert and slow down or stop when they see each other.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Imagine for a moment that you are poor Kuroki, in your little sedan, parked nose in between a highace and an elgrande, that weren't there when you parked up. You start reversing out slowly and you hear/feel a slight bump.

Imagine for a bit longer that you are a mum walking through the carpark, bub strapped to your front thereby creating a minor blindspot as you crane your head to talk to your precious cargo. The next thing you know, your knees has been taken out and you collapse on the ground on top of baby...

There was no malicious intent and you could easily transpose someone from any gender or age into this position. Unfortunate all round. RIP little one.

Sure, there was no malicious intent from both parties, but that does absolve the driver from responsibility. Yeah, there are times when morons driving humungous vans box you in and make it hard to see. That is why you should roll down your windows to hear better, and reverse at a snail's pace. Old Japanese folks drive negligently all of the time, and in this case, the result of that negligence was death. He should be held responsible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pedestrians DO have the right of way in parking lots. Even still both pedestrians and drivers should be alert and slow down or stop when they see each other.

Not gonna happen, at least in Tokyo where everyone is pathologically self absorbed and too lazy to even get a license, they will see your big SUV from miles reverse parking halfway through the sidewalk and instead of slowing down or god forbid, waiting for like 2 or 3 seconds they proceed full speed right behind the car. If sociopathy could walk down the streets..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

JParkings are crazy, I was backing my car to park with the usual look right and left then front to back Ok, and in all of a sudden a J mother just burst out on the back with her baby pram nodding at me saying Gomen SUMIMASEN.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

My wife arrived at this same store to do some shopping right after the accident happened and as the police were investigating. Supposedly the mother had just walked out of the store when she was hit and the driver was wearing sandals that got caught on the gas pedal.

Hard to know the truth but this is what my wife was told. RIP little girl.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Harry_GattoToday  10:01 am JST

*No, they have not charged him, they have arrested him on suspicion; *big difference.

Not in Japan. If you're arrested in Japan, you're going to get charged. It's just a formality,

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Not in Japan. If you're arrested in Japan, you're going to get charged. It's just a formality,

No, you are not. The public prosecutor decides who will be charged and not every arrest leads to a charge.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

wallaceToday  12:09 pm JST

No, you are not. The public prosecutor decides who will be charged and not every arrest leads to a charge.

The vast majority result in actual charges. It's a rare exception when they don't. Much more so than in western countries and they can hold you for a long time without formal charges.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

MilesTeg

I dismissed your claim that all arrests end with charges when they don't. There are also cases where it is worked out between the offender and the victim. I don't know the percentage of the arrested who end up charged but it's not 100%.

As for holding someone, well that is a different matter.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

wallaceToday  12:25 pm JST

MilesTeg

I dismissed your claim that all arrests end with charges when they don't. There are also cases where it is worked out between the offender and the victim. I don't know the percentage of the arrested who end up charged but it's not 100%.

As for holding someone, well that is a different matter.

What part of the vast majority and exception do you not understand. You jus reiterated what I wrote. And I never wrote ALL. end with charges. When was the last time you heard someone being released. It's the rare exception not the norm. If it's resolved between the two parties, then it's usually a civil case. In the case of a capital crime involving death as in this case, it's not happening.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

MilesTeg

you posted

"Not in Japan. If you're arrested in Japan, you're going to get charged. It's just a formality,"

I said that is not correct. Not all arrests lead to being charged.

In other cases, the public prosecutor works out a deal between the offender and the victim.

You changed your comment to

"the vast majority"

That is the common story that happens in most countries.

I know people who have been arrested several times and released without charges.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I swear there are so many drivers, bicycle riders and even walkers here who are absolutely oblivious to the world around them.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

wallaceToday  12:41 pm JST

MilesTeg

you posted

"Not in Japan. If you're arrested in Japan, you're going to get charged. It's just a formality,"

I said that is not correct. Not all arrests lead to being charged.

In other cases, the public prosecutor works out a deal between the offender and the victim.

You changed your comment to

"the vast majority"

That is the common story that happens in most countries.

I know people who have been arrested several times and released without charges.

I elaborated. What's wrong with that? Why persist?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In Tokyo many parking spots against residential buildings request front parking to prevent exhaust fumes annoying residence. That would require backing out of a parking dock.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Trapped quote: Imagine for a bit longer that you are a mum walking through the carpark, bub strapped to your front thereby creating a minor blindspot as you crane your head to talk to your precious cargo. The next thing you know, your knees has been taken out and you collapse on the ground on top of baby...

The baby was not strapped to her mother. The mother dropped her.

Everthing lined up wrongly. A tragedy for all concerned.

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