crime

Couple killed in car crash; wife's body taken to hospital 5 1/2 hours later

30 Comments

A married couple in their 70s died after their car crashed into an oncoming light passenger vehicle in Kasumigaura City, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Sunday. Unaware that the dead woman was still inside the car, the ambulance crew did not transport her to a hospital until 5 1/2 hours after the accident. 

According to police, the collision occurred just past 4 a.m. along National Route 354. The couple's car was hit on a curve by a vehicle driven by a 19-year-old man, which had drifted over the center line.

Tadaaki Hirose, 74, and his wife Taeko, 75, were killed in the accident. The driver of the other car and his three passengers sustained minor injuries in the collision. Police said the driver has been arrested on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death.

Police said Taeko was in the passenger seat that was severely damaged in the collision and was not discovered until the demolished car was about to be taken away by a tow truck. She was pronounced dead upon arrival at a hospital but police said they could not be certain she died immediately after the crash.

Police also failed to give any explanation as to why emergency responders did not notice Taeko’s body in the car.

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30 Comments
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Seriously??? That’s concerning saying they weren’t sure when she died. This would be a serious coronial investigation here, I hope the Japanese Police properly investigate it up there too.

RIP to the couple.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Bunch of amateurs, that's incredible.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

That's just unforgivable. Wow.

Also, this isn't the first time I've seen an article about a head-on collision where everybody dies in one vehicle, with only minor injuries to the occupants of the other.

It doesn't state specifically, but one would assume that the death vehicle was a kei. Perhaps the gov't should really be doing something about the (lack of) safety of these death wagons.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Also of note to all those who are so quick to claim that older drivers are a danger: the driver of blame was 19-years-old, while the victims were in their 70's.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

One of the reasons why I am nervous about being in an emergency situation in Japan is the high level of incompetence of some people that I will have to count on.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Incompetence at its best how can this happen did they even check the car they just saw the husband grabbed him and left you got to be kidding me...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The claims of incompetence ring loud from those who weren’t there, and only know the barest of details, yet still feel confident enough to decry someone they don’t know.

Classy.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Usually there's like 20-30 police officers at the scene of an accident,. You're telling me NOT ONE of these "professionals" noticed a body or clothing or anything in the passenger seat? These types of stories make me question the professionalism of those who are supposed to protect and serve people.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

5 and 1/2 hours, for a small accident the emergency services are there measuring the road, making markings, taking photos, wandering around with clipboards. Consulting each other. obviously not actually looking inside the veichals for empty cans, bodies? 5-1/2 hours before someone maybe the tow truck driver? Noticed. That's not professional at all. It's quicker to drive to the hospital than call an ambulance. Emergency services are not much more than cream on a plate of bread crumbs.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

You're telling me NOT ONE of these "professionals" noticed a body or clothing or anything in the passenger seat?

Well in Japan lot of people pretend they are proffesionals and busy but do they really doing their job or just look as if they are doing their job? That will still need to be answered.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I mean, if anyone wants to actually see how they could've potentially missed some old lady sitting in the front seat. Here is a video that shows the damage. https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/nnn?a=20190826-00000344-nnn-soci

Not making excuses but people make mistakes, and there probably wasn't much of a body left of that woman.

It doesn't state specifically, but one would assume that the death vehicle was a kei. Perhaps the gov't should really be doing something about the (lack of) safety of these death wagons.

The car where the occupants died was a kei. It was hit by a normal sized vehicle, so the damage is pretty severe. The kei also isn't really intended to go on highways. Wonder why speed limits are so low in Japan? You have kei cars to thank for that. But people don't drive the speed limit because its way too slow so when an accident like this happens the weaker car (the kei) gets demolished.

They aren't inherently unsafe if everyone followed the speed limits...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

if anyone wants to actually see how they could've potentially missed some old lady sitting in the front seat. Here is a video that shows the damage. https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/nnn?a=20190826-00000344-nnn-soci

The whole passenger side of the car (where the wife was discovered) is basically collapsed.

This imagery just makes it clear that once again people here have condemned, while clearly not knowing all of the information.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Gary

It doesn't state specifically, but one would assume that the death vehicle was a kei. Perhaps the gov't should really be doing something about the (lack of) safety of these death wagons.

You are right the death couple were in a kei.

The kei producing companies like daihatsu and suzuki remaining in business matters more than the safety of the citizens.

I have thought hard for one policy that favors the populace rather than the populace and I can't think of any.

Well, the people deserve what they are getting.

It is utter stupidity that a 2nd hand kei cost far more than a used luxury sedan.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

No, They are still unsafe at 80kph.

I doubt the body material of the kei and normal car are the same.

I have seen on several occasion the kei turning over when making a turn.

Taxes are low but I won't risk my life driving let alone buying a kei.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

RIP to this couple and condolences to their families.

While it is hard to believe that no-one noticed the lady in the passenger seat, I would agree with posters above that, rather than the failure to find the deceased, the bigger problem is the Japanese government's willingness to allow on the road cars so structurally deficient they basically pancake on impact with larger vehicles.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Watching the link ksteer provided, the fact that the incoming car took the curve wide and, furthermore, that the Kei car is smashed to bits, I’ll wager speed was involved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also of note to all those who are so quick to claim that older drivers are a danger: the driver of blame was 19-years-old, while the victims were in their 70's.

That just needed repeating.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Busy looking busy and no one doing their job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The claims of incompetence ring loud from those who weren’t there, and only know the barest of details, yet still feel confident enough to decry someone they don’t know. 

It wasn't until the car was about to be taken away did someone notice - I'm guessing the staff dealing with the car. Not their job and they aren't trained for that level of trauma. There is zero excuse for what happened and I hope the family of this women take the cops to court over this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sadly.... I can personally give an account of the "incompetence" that "@Silvafan" refers to - on at least two occasions. There are "some", issues with the Medical Emergency Services within Japan that seriously need addressing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That said, I don't know the circumstances of this event - so unless someone provides evidence, it's going to be hard to make any form of judgement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An example...

Dispatch - Ambulance drivers aren't very knowledgeable with local address to their own area. So you , as the caller, may end up having to chase after the dispatched Ambulance in order to flag them down - if not be knocked down by them!

Hospital Selection - Once you're in the Ambulance, the Haggling begins... as to where do they take you. If you're lucky the Hospital from which the Ambulance came, is operating an Emergency service, if not, then they go into a series of Q&A's... and calling around. WTF!!! I have personally been in that situation and recall it through various flashbacks over a period of time.

Transport to Hospital - if you have ever had the unfortunate experience of being in an ambulance with a Loved one who urgently needs to get to Hospital, then the lack of putting "Pedal to the Metal" is frustrating to say the least.

Now, down vote me all you like, I have personally experienced the above in Japan, I have also had several experiences in the UK of the above, and it was functionally "smoother", so I think by Comparison, Japan has issues.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Also of note to all those who are so quick to claim that older drivers are a danger: the driver of blame was 19-years-old, while the victims were in their 70's.

Funny, no one mentioned older drivers until you did.

Younger drivers being dangerous due to inexperience has absolutely no correlation with older drivers being dangerous due to fading cognitive abilities. Difference is, inexperience can be fixed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A Japanese physician once told me that ambulance drivers were just that, drivers, and not EMT personnel. Not sure if he was just talking about our local hospital where he was employed or the profession in Japan in general.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That said, I don't know the circumstances of this event - so unless someone provides evidence, it's going to be hard to make any form of judgement.

Exactly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“wife's body taken to hospital 5 1/2 hours later“

The headline could have have been written as “wife’s body found 5 1/2 hours later”. As it is it could give the impression that personnel knowing left the body at the scene for that time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GREAT JOB by all parties involved, Yeah Right …. That woman may have been alive while in the car and may have lived if taken to the hospital soon after the accident. 51/2 hours after the accident their is no excuse the emergency responders really messed up this time. The family of this elderly couple must really be PISSED OFF.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They aren't inherently unsafe if everyone followed the speed limits...

Keis are unsafe at almost any speed, which is why you can't buy them in most developed countries. If you're driving a kei at 30 to 40kmh and crash with someone coming the other way at the same speed, the damage to the kei will still be very very severe. Yes they can be nice economic little cars with some decent spec but how much do you value the lives of you and your family?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just the sort of incompetence I've come to expect from anyone who is trained to follow rules but not to use intuition or common sense....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Keis are unsafe at almost any speed, which is why you can't buy them in most developed countries. If you're driving a kei at 30 to 40kmh and crash with someone coming the other way at the same speed, the damage to the kei will still be very very severe. Yes they can be nice economic little cars with some decent spec but how much do you value the lives of you and your family?

I own a normal sized vehicle but I also ride a motorcycle. Kei's, just like motorcycles aren't inherently unsafe devices. They are however less safe than say a 4 ton piece of steel and aluminum. Yes if you drive into someone head on even going 30/40kmh then the damage is going to be pretty severe. It won't kill you though. And the damage wouldn't be particularly less severe with a normal sized car.

No matter what you're driving, you'll never be 100% safe. Unless everyone is driving around in tanks... Due to how physics work, the couple here would likely have been killed even if they were driving a prius and the other vehicle would've also been mangled. The only difference in this case is that since they were driving a kei, the normal sized vehicle didn't suffer as much damage as it could've.

TL;DR, even if they had been driving a normal car, the outcome wouldn't have changed, in fact it'd likely be even more severe for everyone involved.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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