crime

9-year-old boy pushing baby stroller hit and killed by car at intersection

35 Comments

A nine-year-old boy pushing a baby stroller was hit and killed by a car in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward on Monday.

Police said the accident occurred at an intersection along Ring Road 8 at around 10 p.m., Fuji TV reported. The car, driven by Keita Wasan, 45, a, a self-employed worker from Kanagawa Prefecture, was making a left-hand turn when it hit the boy, Kota Mimura, who was heading home with his mother and two-year-old brother sitting inside the stroller. Kota’s mother and baby brother were not injured.

Police have arrested Wasan on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in death. He was quoted as saying, “I thought there weren’t any pedestrians [at the time] and simply turned left.”

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35 Comments
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RIP.

Very tragic.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

He should have been more careful, and not excusing him in any way, but drivers and pedestrians having a green light at the same time is a recipe for disaster. I did see one crossing in my 'hood which doesn't have that. When the green man lights up ALL traffic is stopped, much better.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

The driving standards on Kannana, Kanpachi avenues as well as Awashima-dori in Setagaya are terrible. If you put police and cameras on them you could make enough in fines to pay off the national debt pretty quick.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

“I thought there weren’t any pedestrians [at the time] and simply turned left.”

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the guy was probably looking for adult human-sized and car figures and was not expecting human child-sized figures when he was making that turn. For those who have driven tall vehicles, you'll understand that you'll be hard pressed to see objects no more than a meter tall from less than a single car length's away. In any case, RIP kid. A few years ago from the place I'm living at, a grade schooler got hit by an SUV backing up because the kid stopped behind the moving car to tie his/ her shoelaces. I'm not trying to defend the driver and blame the kid, what i'm trying to say is accidents happen and humans commit mistakes (deadly ones sometimes) often.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Poor boy and his family.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Almost got hit myself today by a car turning.

People need to chill out on the speed they go into turns with.

Many of the accidents reported here on JT seem to involve drivers

hitting people they didn't see while making a turn.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I have near misses daily taking my long hard walks.

people never look both ways before moving out from a corner. I have done my share of pounding a car to make them aware.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

had a friend who this happened to - turned left and hit/killed a girl on a bicycle. He got off totally free as he was able to prove that the girl had run into his car (the impact was on the side of the car, and not the front) - it of course went to court, but the judge agreed with him that the girl hit the car rather than the other way around.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

GobshiteToday  03:45 pm JST

He should have been more careful, and not excusing him in any way, but drivers and pedestrians having a green light at the same time is a recipe for disaster.

Isn't it a stupid system? It seems to be based on the fantastical notion that drivers will look where they're going, see pedestrians crossing and put the brakes on 100% of the time.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I find that many Japanese drivers just don't look left when they're turning left and don't look right when they're turning right. And many aren't even aware of the existence of pedestrian lights or even crossings.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

A nine-year-old boy pushing a baby stroller was hit and killed by a car

I'll wager the kid raced ahead with the stroller (as kids are wont to do) and straight into the road. Neither kid not driver saw each other, and this is the result. Still 75% on the mother for not keeping her offspring under control - doubly so as it was night.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

Police said the accident occurred at an intersection....

There's no such thing as a "traffic accident". If a car hits and kills a child, then the driver was driving too fast or too carelessly for the conditions.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Police said the accident occurred at an intersection....

Let me modify that: There's pretty much no such thing as a "traffic accident". If a car hits and kills a child when that child is on a crossing and has right-of-way, then the driver was driving too fast or too carelessly for the conditions.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I have done my share of pounding a car to make them aware.

I understand the frustration, but I'd advise against that. Obviously you can react how you want, but it turns a near miss into a definite confrontation. And I'm not sure that the police would take your side if they got involved.

Certainly, if I were the driver in that situation I'd accept being yelled at, but if someone pounded my car it would be a different story.

My two cents, anyway.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

A nine-year-old boy pushing a baby stroller was hit and killed by a car in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward on Monday.

Too sad for words. The nine-year-old boy's life was too short. RIP.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@nonu6976

had a friend who this happened to - turned left and hit/killed a girl on a bicycle. He got off totally free as he was able to prove that the girl had run into his car (the impact was on the side of the car, and not the front) - it of course went to court, but the judge agreed with him that the girl hit the car rather than the other way around.

^ So much wrong with this: you, your friend, the judge (if to be believed).

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Apparently, people think killing someone and "getting off totally free," (free of conscience, too most likely) is a GOOD thing. That is absolutely morally corrupt and disgusting.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

RIP. Poor girl and her family who have been changed forever. I often wonder how my kids made it to adulthood without being maimed or killed. Where I live, a red light means "go even faster to get through the intersection," and stop signs are the same as a shrub or tree on the side of the street. The signs are there just to keep the traffic sign companies in business via the local Koban.

As I mentioned before, I am much more worried about getting hit by a bus, truck or car, than I am of getting COVID in Japan. With my luck the driver who hits me will have COVID.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am willing to bet this driver made that turn on that street a zillion times, and nothing happened. People get in a comfort zone and become to careless. My only thought is the driver was not looking at the front end of his car but perhaps looking further up the road and never saw the kid in the intersection.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yet another case of the left turn accident where both vehicle and pedestrian are on a green light.

Ridiculous, dangerous system combined with lack of cameras and speed control measures, make crossing the road here a serious risk.

Pedestrians should be able to cross safe in the knowledge that all vehicles are on a red light.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I just moved to a new city (HigashiOsaka) and I'm appalled at how much worse the driving is in my new location. It's terrible. I was cut off riding with my son on a bicycle by a motorcycle and came very close to being knocked off. Lots of people drive recklessly here.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When we were small, our mother had us in bed by 7pm until we were about 12.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

 “I thought there weren’t any pedestrians [at the time] and simply turned left.”

Err what? I understand sometimes things are hard to see, and bad things can happen, but not even looking because think there were no pedestrians? He needs to be charged with stupidity in addition to everthing else.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why drivers don't stop completely at the intersections when the light for the pedestrians is green? I always stop even if no pedestrian is crossing and look very carefully on both sides. Sometimes a speeding bicycle is crossing the moment the left turning driver enters the intersection even at low speed. It should be compulsory for all drivers to stop completely before an intersection when the green light for the pedestrians is on. There is no excuse if a car hits a pedestrian crossing the road with green.

RIP.

Jacobo

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Err what? I understand sometimes things are hard to see, and bad things can happen, but not even looking because think there were no pedestrians? He needs to be charged with stupidity in addition to everthing else.

If that's what was actually said. Remember, you're reading someone's translation of what was said. The use of the word 'think' may be a stylistic choice made by the translator.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This same 'fate of probability' walks alongside of all of us at every moment of our lives, but it is so much more difficult to see it, cannot deny it, when it trips the very young into the abyss... Four lives forever changed in an instant without choice nor appeal...and we know too well that, somewhere else on this planet at this very instant, another innocent child... some days ya hang onto this place with nothing but your fingernails

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

First, condolences to the family for their loss. I was relieved that his 2 year old brother was not injured. I can only image the horror the driver must have felt after realizing what had happened.

Very sad...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Who is surprised by this? Japanese drivers believe they have right of way when they turn left even if there is a crossing there controlled by the green man. I see this happen all the time on Yamate Dore Avenue.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If I, as a pedestrian, am hit by a car, I will be injured, or killed.

If I, as a driver, hit a pedestrian resulting in injury or death, I will likely get a suspended sentence.

Be a good pedestrian. Yield to the vehicles.

And this after having had two near misses (as a driver) recently, because the pedestrians were wearing dark clothes at night. Come on, man! (In my best impersonation of Joe Biden.) When I am walking the streets I have on bright orange colors. Legally, the fault is on the driver. Practically, it is on the pedestrian.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bill Lewis,

The phasing on any traffic signals here means that pedestrians compete for real estate with cars either turning left or right, often themselves in competition with a car coming from the opposite direction. The pedestrian signals on these roads serve a dangerous utility to oncoming motorists. Flagging a window of opportunity before a red light, they encourage motorists to floor their accelerators and beat that signal.

Some behaviours on the road - like scooters passing on the inside - may simply be counterintuitive to many of us here, as is the law is that the stronger party (強者) is responsible for the safety of the weaker one (弱者).

Humans being human, if we have got away with behaviours in our formative, cycling years, chances are they'll remain our default settings behind the wheel. Fortunately for me, my first classes as a child were in road safety (some readers may remember Tufty the squirrel). On top of that, my local cops offered cycling safety training in the local park, and also gave me a right chewing when they pulled me up over dead batteries in my back light. I wore reflective armbands half a century ago walking to school, and am lit up like a Christmas tree when I cycle now.

Could it be that that both Keita in his car at the end of a long day and tired little Kota dutifully pushing his brother's stroller were vying to beat the same flashing green pedestrian light? Will the police shrug and enter this latest statistic as another imprecise data point, failing to join the dots? Or will they see the bigger picture and tackle the problem upstream with the phasing we already see keeping people safe elsewhere in Japan?

I for one am tired of reading about these heartbreaking cases. We all deserve much better.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why was a 9 year old pushing a baby across the street?? Where was his mother?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'll wager the kid raced ahead with the stroller (as kids are wont to do) and straight into the road. Neither kid not driver saw each other, and this is the result. Still 75% on the mother for not keeping her offspring under control - doubly so as it was night.

There is zero evidence that it went down like that and the comment of the driver (“I thought there weren’t any pedestrians [at the time] and simply turned left”), which is the only evidence mentioned in the article, strongly suggests that the driver wasn't paying adequate attention to the road when he made the turn which caused the collision.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“I thought there weren’t any pedestrians [at the time] and simply turned left.”

Well, (Eita as) Keita.......good job, Now there isn't a pedestrian around, because you took his life. Good job on ending a young one's life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My pregnant at the time, ex wife was hit, while we were IN the Crossing Zone, WITH the green light.

Luckily she was not thrown off the bike, and our daughter was born just fine...you can be sure I invited the driver OUT of his car...he refused, while his girlfriend / wife YELLED at him, inside the car.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most Japanese drivers are extremely careless and never give pedestrians the right of way and never stop properly at a red light. They all think they're special and the rules don't apply to them. I'm surprised this doesn't happen daily. Poor kid. Poor mom. Throw the driver into jail for manslaughter (kid-slaughter in this case unfortunately).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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