crime

Elderly couple hit, killed by car; driver arrested

17 Comments

Police in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, have arrested a 43-year-old man on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in death after the vehicle he was driving hit and and killed an elderly couple.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 7:35 p.m. Wednesday, Kyodo News reported. Police said Noriyuki Kondo, 79, and his wife Sayoko, 74, were crossing a four-lane street when they were hit from the left by a car driven by Kazuhiko Fabio Yanai, a Brazilian dispatch worker. 

The couple were taken to hospital where Satoko died at 11 p.m. and her husband at 12:10 a.m. Thursday.

Police said Yanai has admitted to the charge. Police said there was no crossing nor traffic lights at the spot where the couple were hit.

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17 Comments
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If there was no crossing nor traffic lights at the spot, why is the driver at fault? That's one of my biggest fears in Japan, driving safely but hitting someone accidentally while it's not even your fault and ending up in prison for that. Japan's traffic rules are hideous

8 ( +20 / -12 )

Ohhh RIP, why he did not see them crossing? Texting or checking his phone?

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Tragic. Due care must be exercised by drivers at all times. Sadly, these are 2 additional pedestrian deaths this week where there were no lights or crossing, this time a four lane road. The previous pedestrian was hunched over in the roadway and struck & killed by police officer driving with another present in the vehicle: May 1, 2021 [8:10pm]: https://japantoday.com/category/crime/Police-officer-driving-patrol-car-arrested-over-fatal-accident-in-Sapporo

- “Police said there was no crossing nor traffic lights at the spot [7:35pm] where the couple were hit.” -

6 ( +7 / -1 )

RIP to the elderly couple, in the very least, they went together.

Police said Yanai has admitted to the charge. Police said there was no crossing nor traffic lights at the spot where the couple were hit.

@Nomad, I understand you and I can agree that driving in Japan is more challenging compared to Western countries. But, as someone who grew up in a rougher region in Asia, drivers know that pedestrians and other motorists would often pop up in their way so they drive a lot more defensively and will honk their horn profusely. I know that such things are rare in Japan, but we need to get more info on the article, was the road poorly lit or was the weather bad?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

why he did not see them crossing? Texting or checking his phone?

Or maybe because it was dark and they were unexpectedly in the middle of a major road with no crossing?

14 ( +18 / -4 )

602miko

Why were they crossing a 4 lane road in the dark??????

You obviously don't drive in Japan.

Sadly to say I see elderly people crossing the road wherever they please even though there is often a pedestrian crossing not that far away.

Do not be so hasty in blaming the driver.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

in my country pedestrians should wear some reflective clothes at evening say if they want pass road in the dark so driver can notice them.

to pass 4 lane road in place without traffic lights or marked crossing may be not easy task even for youngrt and more healthy people than these deceased ones.

since story is too shosrt its difficult to assess if probelm as at drivers side/did texting on the phone or did not kept eyes on the road/or elderly couple who came from nowhere from dark and made driver surprised so he could not act faster.

however all we know that driver is brazilian guy...seems very important to know?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan's traffic rules are hideous

I always hear about the arrests but never the aftermath. I really don't know what happens after a proper investigation is done. For example, I know that if someone is running across an expressway and a driver hits them, the driver is arrested here. Ridiculous!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Kazuhiko Fabio Yanai, a Brazilian dispatch worker. 

I object to this type of othering. Japan Today should have higher standards.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Not being there to witness the accident and not being familiar with the location I wouldn't even begin to speculate as to what happened.

As for driving in Japan being more challenging than Western countries? Don't make me laugh, you are unlikely to get shot or knifed due to a confrontation when driving in Japan and if you want some challenging driving try Iran, India, Thailand or Indonesia.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

I was there after the accident. It is a fast road, very large and quite dark at night. I wouldn't expect anyone to cross there. The car was a souped up sports car.

It was a horrible decision on the part of the couple to cross there, a really dangerous place to cross. In fact, I've never seen anyone cross that road before, and I pass through there every day.

RIP to the couple that got killed. I hope the driver gets to tell his side of the story as well.

I have to admit that I would have had trouble seeing them crossing as well.

Terrible, just terrible.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Harry_Gatto

As for driving in Japan being more challenging than Western countries? Don't make me laugh, you are unlikely to get shot or knifed due to a confrontation when driving in Japan and if you want some challenging driving try Iran, India, Thailand or Indonesia.

Japan is, without a shadow of a doubt, more challenging than driving in the US, including NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and L.A., which are generally considered the most challenging places in the US to drive. That's just the way it is. There is nothing to debate there. No need to take it personally.

As for road rage, it was so prevalent in Japan that it caused a boom in dashcam sales; The gov't had to create specific laws for it; Video clips of it were shown almost every day on the wide shows; And, most cars now have big REC stickers to help convince other drivers not to engage in it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@garypen

I'm certainly not taking anything personally but I do disagree with you. Perhaps driving on the left is challenging for you here?

Road rage is no more common here than any other country and never has been, isolated occasions only and I would question your claim to almost every day. Despite Japan having a large population it's a very small country so everything gets reported nationally regardless of where it happened, larger countries like the US don't do this.

Anyway, you think that driving in Japan is less challenging than driving in the US despite this:

https://www.octotelematics.com/blog/road-rage-statistics-2022/

**In a seven-year period, road rage incidents caused 218 murders and 12,610 injuries.**(AAA)

**That’s about 30 deaths and 1,800 injuries per year caused by road rage.**(AAA)

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Driving in Japan can be a challenge. Especially since the laws here almost ALWAYS find fault with the driver. But from personal experience from driving here, coast to coast in the US and in Thailand, Japan actually is not so bad. Mostly because the speeds here are so slow compared to other countries in general.

What happens here,and probably in this case, is that since fault is always found with the driver, people get into this "bubble" mentality where they feel there's no need to pay attention around them. Because they assume the driver would watch out for them always. We've all seen an oji-chan/oba-chan do some stuff like "what the hell were they thinking?" And don't get me started on golden week. Im sorry that they passed away, but crossing a 4 lane road at night with no crossing is dangerous no matter what.

Im going on too long, sorry, bear with me. I don't know how this guy was driving, but i personally find sports cars safer to drive. This is IF you are not pushing them to the limits daily driving, and not set up for race only. Since they are designed to handle higher speeds, they are USUALLY easy to drive at highway or slower speeds.

I have had children fall down running into the street right in front of my car because the parents walked away from them and kept going. If my car had been factory ride height, i would have never seen them fall down. Another time i had the green lught. While i took my time to engage the clutch and get moving, a mom with a kid on the back of the bicycle blew through the red.

Again, sad to hear that they died, but people have to be responsible for their own survival. Right now, we can only gear one side of the story.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Harry_Gatto

@garypen

I'm certainly not taking anything personally but I do disagree with you. Perhaps driving on the left is challenging for you here?

It's not challenging because of left-side traffic. What a ridiculous thing to say.

It's challenging because of two-way streets that are barely wide enough to be one-way streets, the lack of sidewalks, utility poles and signposts located on the roadway, cyclists and pedestrians sprinting out into the road, drivers constantly running red lights, goofy traffic lights that are red and green at the same time, ridiculously verbose signage, IC exit ramps with multiple forks one after another, the lack of street names, the scooter drivers weaving in and out of the cars and sneaking around on the left at intersections, etc et

Road rage is no more common here than any other country and never has been

I didn't say it was. I was merely pointing out that it has it, like other countries, which you were implying were worse.

Anyway, you think that driving in Japan is less challenging than driving in the US despite this:

No, I said it was more challenging. And, I was correct in that assessment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sadly to say I see elderly people crossing the road wherever they please even though there is often a pedestrian crossing not that far away.

I used to think that until I injured my foot and it was painful to walk. That crossing can seem pretty far away when it hurts to walk there. And many elderly people find walking difficult.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is a very difficult situation to judge from the scarce details in the note, a driver can be careful and attentive but still be involved in a fatal accident without any realistic way to avoid it. For the Japanese law this situation falls completely in the responsibility of the driver, which makes sense a lot of the time, but depending on how things were at the site even driving completely inside regulations and laws may not have prevented this.

If anything the driver did was even slightly outside the law he can expect to be automatically found guilty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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