crime

Epileptic driver of wheel loader that hit and killed 11-year-old girl gets 7 years in prison

18 Comments

The driver of a construction vehicle that rammed into pupils and teachers of a school for children with impaired hearing in Osaka on Feb 1, 2018, killing an 11-year-old girl and injuring four others, was sentenced to seven years in prison by the Osaka District Court on Wednesday.

Prosecutors had asked for a 10-year sentence for Takuya Sano, 36, who suffers from epilepsy, Fuji TV reported. He was convicted of reckless driving resulting in death.

According to the ruling, Sano was driving a wheel loader and suffered an epileptic attack just before the accident. He hit Ayaka Ide, and two other pupils of the same age, as well as two female teachers as the five were waiting for a traffic signal near the school's gate in Ikuno Ward.

The accident took place in a residential area about 400 meters south of JR Tsuruhashi Station. Road construction work was being carried out near the site.

At first, Sano told police he mistakenly pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal when he was trying to stop the vehicle as the traffic light turned red. Later, Sano admitted that he had been prescribed medication for epilepsy but could not remember if he had taken his medication that day. Police also said that Sano had been in a traffic accident once before while operating a vehicle.

Drivers who cause fatal accidents due to medical conditions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia have been subject to tougher penalties since the Road Traffic Law was revised in 2013.

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18 Comments
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A wheeled loader is considered heavy equipment so this guy was on epilepsy meds and was still able to get his license, and the company he worked for let him work. The police also said that he was in an accident prior, but the article doesn't say if they knew about his epilepsy. I guess no one knew and the guy of course understood that it would be difficult to get a good job if anyone knew so he hid his condition. There's a broken system and the result is the death of an innocent victim. Is this "tough" road traffic law really going to solve the underlying issue or is it just going to drive more people with conditions into hiding? This really is sad.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So, if his employer did break the law by hiring an epileptic person to operate heavy equipment, are they being investigated? Was this 2013 law being properly enforced by the government? Everyone involved should pay dearly for the loss of the poor girl and the injuries suffered by the other students and the teachers. This man didn't make these kids' lives any easier.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Drivers who cause fatal accidents due to medical conditions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia have been subject to tougher penalties since the Road Traffic Law was revised in 2013.

Doesn't make any sense to me.

These people have a medical condition and it's treated harsher, like with premeditation ?

I can't get my head around it. It's like condemning a man in a wheelchair who caused an accident because one of the wheel got stuck.

If this is a real problem, the solution would be to forbid them from driving. In that case, one kid would still be alive, 4 would not have been hurt, and a man would have lost some freedom but not 7 years of his life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But dementia is OK.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

He should never have been licensed or employed to operate heavy equipment. The issuing agency and his employer should be held responsible.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The penalty for driving illegally knowing he had epilepsy should be seven years. The vehicular manslaughter should be another seven years.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He knew very well he was elliptic and the consequences if he suffered an attack while driving such a large vehicle.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Another bell-jar sentence from the Japanese courts. The life of an 11-year-old girl is only Worth seven, and that's after the guy lied about his status.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Epileptics should obviously not be allowed to operate motor vehicles in public areas, period. I dont understand how this is even considered. Seeing that this is allowed, I am wondering if airline can also be epilectic??

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Surely when obtaining a license to drive any vehicle you must have to disclose any known medical condition that might impair your driving?

Surely his employer must've asked him to disclose the same when considering him for work operation machinery?

If that is the case and he lied, 7 years is way too short.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are lots of people with a raft of conditions who operate normally while taking their medication. Serious problems can arise when they don't take it for some reason.

The last sentence must refer to tougher penalties for those who cause an accident through lack of self-discipline. Quote: "Drivers who cause fatal accidents due to medical conditions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia have been subject to tougher penalties since the Road Traffic Law was revised in 2013."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Epileptics should obviously not be allowed to operate motor vehicles in public areas, period. I dont understand how this is even considered. Seeing that this is allowed, I am wondering if airline can also be epilectic??

Not sure about here, but in parts of Europe, one can drive if one has gone 2 years without a seizure. Epilepsy can strike when young, or due to head trauma or other factors, and can either disappear or worsen. Really depends on the individual. There are some people who's lives are utterly disrupted with dozens of seizures a day and some who may have one a year. Medication doesn't always work, sadly. Doctors all round the world are looking into CBD medicines as a possible treatment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So they didn't also charge the mother who was arrested for not making sure he took his pills?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That ruling is against human rights. A basic human right is not to be discriminated against for having a disability. Look it up!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

That ruling is against human rights. A basic human right is not to be discriminated against for having a disability. Look it up!

The crime isn't for having epilepsy, it's negligence for choosing to drive a vehicle with epilepsy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That ruling is against human rights. A basic human right is not to be discriminated against for having a disability. Look it up!

Certain disabilities disqualify you from driving. It is not discrimination if you have a medical condition that makes you a danger to other people.

If you are safe with medication, that's one thing, but if you haven't taken it, your licence is invalid.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What happened to the Employer ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many epileptics, at least in the United States, drive. And they are allowed to drive.

“In the U.S., people with epilepsy can drive if their seizures are controlled with medication or other treatment and they meet the licensing requirements in their state. How long they have to be free of seizures varies in different states, but it is most likely to be between three months and a year.”

reasonable enough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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