crime

Elderly driver arrested after killing two pedestrians

44 Comments

Police said Monday they have arrested a 76-year-old woman in Fukuoka after the car she was driving mounted a sidewalk, killing two people.

According to police, the incident occurred in Kasuga at around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Fuji TV quoted police as saying that the woman's car drifted mounted the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road, hitting and killing 73-year-old Teruko Moriyama and 38-year-old Sosaku Hara.

Police say the driver, who has been named as Fumiko Kishima from Onojo, has been charged with negligent driving resulting in death. Fuji TV quoted police as saying she has so far refused to discuss the circumstances leading up to the collision.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments
Login to comment

she has so far refused to discuss the circumstances leading up to the collision

Well there's something you don't see at the end of a JT story too often!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Put her into a jail cell and tell her she will remain there until she's ready to talk. Take all the time you need, Fumi-chan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Restricting 70 and over drivers to manual transmissions may help reduce these accidents since most drive automatics.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@crazyJoe

What has manual transmission to do with it? over 70 they need eye sight tests, reaction tests, attention tests and such to determine the drivers skill.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

She drifted right across the oncoming laner and onto the opposite sidwalk. Sounds like she fell asleep...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Dennis Bauer

Most likely there will be less drivers, don't you think if they limit it to manual transmissions only? Manual transmission vehicles are not popular in Japan.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Many Yrs ago I rode in my grandad's car. He was 80 at the time I believe (RIP Grandad!). I still have nightmare's to this day. LOL!

Not signaling or checking his blind spot when changing lanes. Not staying in his own lane on the highway. He would just drift over to the next lane with no worries about any other car on the road. No idea of what the speed limit was. etc etc.... Extreme case he was but I do believe that there should be an age limit where people are just not allowed to drive anymore, or more regular and stricter testing of seniors knowledge of the road and practical driver skills.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The neighbour of my mother in Florida is 104 years and recently had her license renewed, and drives everyday to the mall or hospital. My mother at 87 years is good too but no longer drives after dark or any more long distance. In over 60 years of driving, my mother was only involved in one accident when the other driver jumped a red light, and hit her car side on. She survived that without injury.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

stop allowing these people drive

0 ( +10 / -10 )

My grandfather drove every day until he died at age 92. He was a great driver, very safe and cautious.

However I do think it is interesting that the government is prepared to make new laws against epileptics for health reasons, but won't do the same for old people who have health issues. Double standard much? Anyone with a health condition that makes driving dangerous should be barred from driving.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There are both drivers and steering wheel attendants here - some cars are loaded up with so many automatic features, gadgets and small LED screens to ostensibly help the driver that they end up unable to control the car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is everybody assuming this has something to do with her age? My experience in Japan is that most of the bad/dangerous drivers are men in their 30's. Every time I cross the street I wait for a couple of seconds because almost every time some driver will just ignore the red light. I'm also really tired of people here tailgating. Old people are much more careful and statistically have the fewest accidents. If she fell asleep, well, it's much more likely that an overworked trucker or bus driver will do that. This is tragic, but there's no information about what caused the accident, so less of the ageism, folks! (By the way, I'm not an old person.)

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Old man in fell asleep with his wife in the passenger seat at 4pm, drifted across the road hit the back of my car swiped it sideways and continued across the sidewalk into an allotment garden. Back of my car was written off, luckily no one was on the side walk...he was 76! Something has to be said about old people driving.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How awful for all concerned.

There's great opportunity for Japan Inc. to create model specs for this demographic with the situational awareness and override tech to reduce this unnecessary carnage.

Hone the technologies, develop economies of scale, and implement the tech in all cars, just like we did in the past with existing safety features.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The elderly need to be more closely and regularly scrutinized for drivers licenses. They're statistically high risk drivers, not only in Japan, but all over the world, for obvious reasons (deteriorating eye-sight, slower response times, weakening muscles and bone structures, hearing...) A sticker to show that an elderly person is behind the wheel does nothing but prove the stereotype.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

May the departed R.I.P ,well she killed another 70s yr old and she's refusing to talk ,i smell a rat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow refusing to talk, sort of strange.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What has manual transmission to do with it? over 70 they need eye sight tests, reaction tests, attention tests and such to determine the drivers skill.

One of the biggest problems with elderly drivers is that they mistake the accelerator pedal for the brake pedal. Most people who drive cars with automatic transmissions drive using only the right foot, which is used for accelerating or braking. People who drive manual transmission-equipped cars use both feet to drive, the right foot for the accelerator, and the left foot for the brake and clutch. Driving with only the right foot greatly increases the risk of mistaking which pedal one is using, and causes a large percentage of accidents where control is lost. The majority of accidents involving elderly drivers is caused by this simple mistake.

Those who drive with both feet almost never mistake the throttle for the brake.

I was a police accident investigator in a major American city for 10 years, and I have been to countless accident scenes.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Fuji TV quoted police as saying she has so far refused to discuss the circumstances leading up to the collision.

Then, as mentioned, she should be sitting in jail. There is no reason why this women should be allowed to be free after killing two people and refusing to answer questions. Could you imagine the treatment someone younger or non Japanese would be given for doing the same thing??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Too old and too stupid to be driving anything!!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@ sangetsu03, Not to stir the hornets nest, but I believe most people use their left foot only for the clutch. Using the left foot for the clutch and the brakes would make it extremely dangerous getting into gear for uphill starts without killing the engine. Same goes for stopping. Unless you're racing and experienced with using the heel n toe method... No offence, but you're argument sounds very counter-intuitive, at least to me.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Refusing to talk is the best idea if you're ever arrested as far as I'm concerned. Get a lawyer and he/she can do all your talking for you. But seriously, elderly drivers are a growing concern that needs to be addressed. Obviously taking away their licenses is a bit extreme, but maybe a yearly exam, or something?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My grandpa was a very safe driver.

40km/hr at all times... even on the motorway :D

Although he never did check blind spots or keep an eye on where other cars/pedestrians were.

He was however an expert at using a manual transmission.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

No doubt she was trying to send a text message and that is why she is tight lipped.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Magnet you are correct. Right foot for accelerator & brake, left foot for clutch. Heel-toe left foot (clutch-brake) for the small % who can do it, typically on a race track.

My father is 82 and still driving to the local shops (2 miles). He is definitely high risk and knows it but in the rural UK place where he lives, the alternative is an unaffordable and hard to get taxi or try to find some samaritan who would give him a lift or do the shopping for him. The nearest bus stop is a mile away which, even if he could make it going, there is no way he could carry shopping back that distance. Home delivery by supermarkets might be another possibility but I suspect not everything is available, there are cut-off times and the once aweek shop is the only time he really leaves home. He has driven over 60 years without an accident....not that this says anything about future events.

Not condoning the gambling with people's safety, including his own, but highlighting that giving up driving is extremely difficult for many reasons.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

InControl: Heel and toe, LEFT Foot, clutch brake? That's a new one on me, I used to race and rally and heel and toe is RIGHT foot, brake and throttle.

sangetsu03: You think that people driving with a manual gearbox use the left foot for both clutch and braking? Not possible, you need to brake and change gear at the same time. Strange that an accident investigator believes that; maybe you can't drive a manual??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Drivers in Fukuoka are notorious for being generally awful. Had a guy behind me when I stopped at a red light mount the sidewalk at a crossroads, throttle it across the pedestrian crossing as the other cars started to pull away on their green from the other junction and burn on down the road, only for me to catch up to him 5 minutes later at the next light. Toyota could save a fortune by making indicators a luxury extra that you can buy as no-one in Fukuoka uses them. MSM mirror signal maneuver here (Fukuoka) it is BMS brake (really hard) maneuver signal (if you want).

But at the end of the day 2 people have been killed, so it is a sad story regardless.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

she's refusing to talk coz its premeditated...she wanted them dead...or one of them

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How can the Police charge for Negligent driving before she appears in court?? Oh, forgot, guilty until proven innocent!..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How can the Police charge for Negligent driving before she appears in court??

My goodness, first Frungy and now you. What is this? Some kind of remedial school for failed law students?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

76 is not that old as far as driving goes.... she may have been texting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Get these old fogies off the roads.

They're a danger to themselves and everybody else.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

stop allowing these people (to) drive

They're a danger to themselves and everybody else.

My exact thoughts when I'm driving the speed limit and young drivers pass me in no-passing zones, when young drivers drift into my lane while textingsextingusing cell phones, when others blow thru red lights, when street racers cause accidents, when drunk drivers travel the wrong way on roadways, etc., etc. Contrary to the beliefs of some, bad drivers aren't just old people--there are more than enough "driving stupid" types for all age groups. IMHO, if you're a careless driver when you're young, you're more than likely going to be just as careless or more so when you're older.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Take away old folks' driving permits? First you'll have to take away their right to vote. Not a bad idea really, at least in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sangetsu03Jul. 02, 2013 - 12:38PM JST What has manual transmission to do with it? over 70 they need eye sight tests, reaction tests, attention tests and such to determine the drivers skill. One of the biggest problems with elderly drivers is that they mistake the accelerator pedal for the brake pedal. Most people who drive cars with automatic transmissions drive using only the right foot, which is used for accelerating or braking. People who drive manual transmission-equipped cars use both feet to drive, the right foot for the accelerator, and the left foot for the brake and clutch. Driving with only the right foot greatly increases the risk of mistaking which pedal one is using, and causes a large percentage of accidents where control is lost. The majority of accidents involving elderly drivers is caused by this simple mistake. Those who drive with both feet almost never mistake the throttle for the brake. I was a police accident investigator in a major American city for 10 years, and I have been to countless accident scenes.

Where I'm from, left foot braking is usually discouraged, except in a race car. (Probablyy because it might increase the risk of you depressing both pedals in an emergency situation)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it possible to invent a "seniors" car that does max 20mph? That way everyone is happy - the seniors still get to drive and the cars make sure they do so at a speed that generally doesnt kill anyone. Just a thought.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Flashinthejapan wrote "Drivers in Fukuoka are notorious for being generally awful."

Having driven in Fukuoka once (just once was enough!), I can vouch for that. Is it something to do with Fukuoka's being so close to the Asian mainland, where driving habits tend to be more reckless? There must be some influence there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's not Fukuoka itself that's the problem; it's the hicks in the surrounding prefectures. You see a near-miss on the street in my town and 90% of the time you'll see a Saga numberplate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have to disagree that Fukuoka is not the problem itself, yes inakaland has its share. But Fukuoka itself comes pretty much plumb bottom in the prefectural safety driving stakes year on year.

It was only a couple of years ago that a someone was killed crossing the road in the middle of the city (Tenjin) when a driver disregarded the red light. I drive in Fukuoka daily and it is definately Fukuoka plates that are cutting up / tailing and all the other road rage inducing habits. Don't even ask why they let their kids surf the dashboard either!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd hate to be behind that car on my way to work lol

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

TRAGIC END FOR THOSE PEOPLE!! I guess she must have seen some action movie on TV!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wow. It's amazing how many people have just instantly started coming up with reasons why she is guilty. No one here knows the circumstances and there may be a very good reason she is staying tight lipped. It seems Japan isn't really concerned with facts within the legal system and she may just be keeping her mouth shut to prevent her recollections being misinterpreted by the prosecutors. Premeditated murder, texting....really. I take it you guys were there then? Please enlighten us. No, you weren't there. Seriously, this woman has to live with the fact she has killed 2 people and most of you have just hung her out to dry with no real information to go on. No wonder the legal system is in a mess.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

has to live with the fact... she should be executed for murder of 2 people... premeditated or not

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Is it possible to invent a "seniors" car that does max 20mph?

I'd hate to be behind that car on my way to work lol

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