crime

Baby killed, mother seriously injured in Kawasaki hit-and-run

30 Comments

Police said Wednesday they have arrested a 61-year-old woman over a hit-and-run incident in which a 36-year-old woman was seriously injured and her 1-year-old son killed when they were knocked down by a driver in a hit-and-run incident in Kawasaki.

According to eyewitness reports, the woman and her son were riding a bicycle on a road near their home at around 10 a.m. on Tuesday when they were hit by a white Mercedes Benz being driven by a female driver, Fuji TV reported. An eyewitness told police the driver briefly stopped her car before fleeing the scene.

The child died at a hospital shortly after the incident and the woman sustained serious injuries, police said.

Police tracked down the driver of the Mercedes Benz who was identified as Hiroko Komatsu, a bar manager in Kawasaki. She was quoted by police as saying she thought she might have hit a bicycle but was not aware she had hit anyone, Fuji reported.

Due to the nature of the injuries sustained, police say they are as yet unsure whether the car hit the bicycle first, or whether the bicycle toppled over and was then run over by the car.

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She was quoted by police as saying she thought she might have hit a bicycle but was not aware she had hit anyone, Fuji reported.

She should have stopped and stayed even if it was a bicycle she hit! Geez!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How can you hit someone in broad daylight and not know it? Sorry, but not buying it.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

How can you hit someone in broad daylight and not know it?

Being a bar manager gives you access to cheap liquor.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Hopefully she didn`t do one of those roll stops that most people do in Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I thought everyone knew! White Mercedes in Japan dont need to follow any laws such as speeding, harassing slower drivers with high beams, tailgating, running redlights, cutting off lanes, etc.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Rest in peace little one! May your mother get well soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I thought everyone knew! White Mercedes in Japan dont need to follow any laws such as speeding, harassing slower drivers with high beams, tailgating, running redlights, cutting off lanes, etc.

Why are you just picking on the white Benzes? You've pretty much described the nature of all drivers in Japan. I don't buy her excuse either. She crapped herself and bolted! That is what really happened!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Jail!! Period

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sorry, but from what I have seen Mercedes Benz and BMW drivers are the rudest drivers on the road!! They drive like they own the damn road!! I am happy she got caught!! So sad for the baby and the mother... I would hate to be her or her husband right now....

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japanese roads are so dangerous with insufficient space for all the traffic and pedestrians. I'm often shocked at the sight small children and old folks walking along with just inches to spare between them and cars and trucks rushing by.

Why has nothing been done to improve safety like in other developed nations?

-9 ( +3 / -13 )

Skeeter 27 SEP. 12, 2012 - 09:34PM JST Sorry, but from what I have seen Mercedes Benz and BMW drivers are the rudest drivers on the road!!

I would argue it's truck drivers in Japan who are more dangerous - they seem to drive more aggressive and are less considerate - also seem to cause a disproportionate number of accidents. Ironic because in western nations it's often the truck drivers who are more considerate and aware of their potential danger to others.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

What are the chances mom and child were wearing helmets? Were they following the road rules? The lady is an idiot for driving off, no doubt about that, but before we burn her at the stake how about we find out more about why the accident occurred and what kind of injuries caused the baby's death and mom's injuries?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

My guess is that of tMarie's -- mom and child were probably on one those of 40 kg mama-charis equipped with everything but solar power (to come later), and they probably had no bike light. I have zero doubt they had no helmets or any other safety measures. That's not saying the woman who hit them is not guilty, it's just pointing out that as usual, since bicycle safety laws are never actually enacted this may have been less extreme in terms of outcome.

kaminarioyaji is correct that Japanese drivers are idiots, but he seems to think bicyclists are not. They all are. It's a nice nabe of idiocy here when it comes to road laws.

2 ( +4 / -1 )

@JT

She was quoted by police as saying she thought she might have hit a bicycle but was not aware she had hit anyone, Fuji reported.

I looked at what other news outlets had to say, and the above quote of the suspect is not accurate. She was quoted as saying 「自転車とはぶつかったかもしれないが、人はひいていない」「相手の人が倒れてきた」

Roughly translated, "I may have hit a bicycle, but I DID NOT hit a person" "The other person fell"

Your quotation implies that she said that she did not know, or wasn't aware that she had hit a person, but the reality is that she was perfectly aware, and that she is denying that she hit anyone. There is a BIG difference in meaning here.

Additionally, the fact that she was quoted as saying "The other person fell" , means that she was perfectly aware that she had some sort of collision with a person, yet left the scene anyway.

Lastly, the suspect's name is "Hiroko Komatsu" not " Yuko Komatsu" as reported in your article.

Sources:

http://news.tv-asahi.co.jp/news/web/html/220912017.html

http://news.tv-asahi.co.jp/news/web/html/220912017.html

2 ( +1 / -0 )

Well said Smith. I cycle and I drive and honestly, in this country, both groups are idiots so when I read about accidents I always have to question whose fault it was. I am terrified I will hit one of those idiots biking on the wrong side of the road, no light, wearing black while driving at night and I am terrified I'm going to get hit even though I am on the right side of the road, lit up like and Xmas tree and wearing a helmet. Road safety is not addressed here like it needs to be!

Someone "fell" could mean that mom fell off the bike and this women couldn't avoid hitting the bike but didn't hit the people. Either way she's an idiot not to have stopped but we still don't know what happened and who was at fault for the falling. Kids can easily die at that age from falling off a bike with no helmet.

-8 ( +1 / -8 )

Lots of assumptions there smithinjapan. The only thing we know for sure is that, once again, yet another person - a young child, has been struck and killed by a car.

The fact is around the world, 2 people die every minute in accidents involving automobiles. Not sure how one can continually focus blame on things like bicycle helmuts, bicycle safety laws, or the weight of the woman`s bicycle(!), while ignoring, or worse, accepting, the elephant in the room, and the part of the equation most directly responsible for the carnage - the 2 ton, space-wasting, kid-krushing automobile.

This tragic waste of life will just go on and on continuously, another minute another 2 deaths - unless we can accept the reality of the situation, which is that fatalities in accidents involving cars will always be unavoidable(who is at fault doesn`t really matter) and human life is way more important than convenience and car company profits. Only then, perhaps, will people start to view city driving as an irresponsible/sociopathic thing to do, and urban planners can get to work in building safer and more livable cities which emphasize the needs and safety of all people, rather than focusing on the needs and the convenience of automobile drivers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They should change the law that the blame lies always at the driver, it is an accident, running away makes you guilty bey default IMHO

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Dennis

The laws are written that way already. If you do a hit and run, the penalties are much more harsher (even if its the other person's fault) . If you leave, the accident automatically becomes a crime. I know because I was a victim of a H&R, and the Jpolice eventually found the guy (after looking for six months -despite me providing the plate numbers and a full description of the driver). The police called me later and asked if I wanted to prosecute to the "full extent of the law" which meant jail time. The guy was only 22 and I was not injured so I told the police I would be satisfied if they just revoked his license for a while...no jail time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lots of assumptions there smithinjapan. The only thing we know for sure is that, once again, yet another person - a young child, has been struck and killed by a car.

Actually, we don't even know that. The car could have hit the bike, not the child. The child could have died due to mom's error on the bike.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Actually, we don't even know that. The car could have hit the bike, not the child. The child could have died due to mom's error on the bike.

tmarie

Whether the car hit the bike, the mother, or the child is irrelevant. If the driver caused an "event" that lead to the accident and ultimately the child's death, then the driver is responsible. Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way, regardless what the mother was doing or how she was riding her bike.

I can't stand some of these mama-chari moms either. They often cut in front of you, ride in the middle of street on the opposite side of the road, texting, not paying attention, carrying a million things in their arms etc. But the fact of the matter is, until the jpolice start enforcing basic traffic laws for bicycles too, there will still be mom's trying to balance 2,3,4 kids, umbrellas, and 8 bags of groceries on their bikes with complete disregards for anyone or anything around them, and it will always be the driver's responsibility to stay out of their way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Whether the car hit the bike, the mother, or the child is irrelevant. Actually, it is. If the child died because of injuries due to the mother, the driver will only be charged with hit and run. If the child died because of injuries sustained because of being hit by the car, it goes to manslaughter AND hit and run.

We don't know what caused the event. Mom could have been being an idiot and crossing the street while the car was coming, panicked and fell hitting the child's head that caused the injury. The driver could have clipped the bike and not caused any problems. We don't know so why speculate?

And I agree, until the police start doing something this will continue. Why though mothers here behave in such a way and put their kids at risk the way they do is beyond me.

And while it would be nice to think that pedestrians always have the right away, sometimes they can't be avoided and really should be the ones to get the blame - this could be the case here, we don't know.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Ther seems to be a minority of bad drivers, old or drunk i dint know but Try crossing Route 6 on a green walk sign if you like living dangerously, I was hit yesterday for the 2nd time and the driver didn't stop, in fact sped away.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tmarie if they were following the road rules they were riding in the street instead of the safe haven of a sidewalk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here, if mom was biking the wrong way and no helmets...

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

It seems everyone agrees that cyclist (mainly mamacharis and school kids) are irresponsible riders. If this is the case, there shouldn't be any car verses bike accidents. I have been driving a car and motorcycle in Tokyo for almost 30 years almost daily. Never hit anyone on a bicycle. If you can't drive responsibly and anticipate the unexpected, stick to the trains.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Terrible loss of innocent life, however the blame is apportioned.

Drive more carefully, yes, but at the same time BAN people riding bikes with small kids as passengers. A child passenger is helpless in any type of fall. I've seen such accidents a number of times caused by cars running into bikes and due to a simple loss of balance. The result is the same: little child comes crashing down onto the pavement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"but at the same time BAN people riding bikes with small kids as passengers. "

But then more parents would drive their kids to school, right?

More cars on the road = even more DEADLY accidents - do you really think a car ride to school would be safer for the kids? .

Again - It is the car, specifically the weight and speed of the thing on crowded city streets, that is responsible for causing all the deaths, not the bicycle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's all about abiding by the rules! I drive on most days and on some i use my bike ( mama chari ). Been in japan ten years without an incident so far. I guess unless if you are extremely unlucky or that your time is up!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RIP 1 year old child.

Selfish Mercedes driver should have stopped. Helped. Period.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bar manager!!! What more do you expect from those money sucking old nomiya women!!! 61 years old, its finished for her already!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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