crime

Man arrested over about fatal car crash, hit-and-run

39 Comments

More details emerged Wednesday about a fatal crash and hit-and-run that took the lives of four members of one family in Sunagawa, Hokkaido, last Saturday night.

The accident occurred at around 10:40 p.m. at an intersection on National Route 12. A mini-wagon carrying Koichi Nagaoke, 44, his wife Fumie, 44, their daughter Megumi, 17, son Shota, 16, and the couple’s 12-year-old daughter, was hit from the right by a car carrying three men. The impact sent the Nagaokes’ car crashing into a streetlight post, throwing Shota onto the street.

However, Shota’s body was found about 800 meters away. Police said that after he was thrown from the mini-wagon, he was hit by an oncoming vehicle and dragged along.

The four Nagaokes were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead. Their youngest daughter and the three men in the other vehicle were also taken to hospital but their injuries are not life-threatening.

On Tuesday, police arrested demolition worker Ryuichi Komi, 26, on suspicion of hitting Shota with his pick-up truck, Fuji TV reported. Komi, who turned himself in to police on Sunday, was quoted as saying he remembered hitting something but did not know what it was. He said he turned himself in after seeing news about the accident on TV and thought he might have been involved.

Police said that Komi and a companion were following three friends in the car that hit the Nagaokes’ mini-wagon. The car is believed to have gone through a red light. The accident occurred on what is said to be Japan’s longest stretch of straight road (30 kilometers). Street surveillance camera footage showed the car and Komi’s pick-up truck moving at about 108 kilometers per hour – twice the speed limit -- and only 25 meters apart as they approached the intersection.

Meanwhile, an autopsy revealed that Shota did not die as a result of the crash, NHK reported Wednesday. He died from injuries received after apparently being dragged along by Komi’s truck, police said.

Komi was quoted by police as saying he and his friends had been at a restaurant before the accident and that he drank one tankard of beer before getting into his truck.

Friends of Komi told media that he and his friends used to often go hot rodding. Police plan to question Komi’s friends as soon as they recover from their injuries.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

39 Comments
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Waiting for the self driving cars to reduce this nonsense...

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

So sad RIP. No seat belts? Mini-wagon's are for only four people too.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

So, do you think the local police are doing enough to curb drink driving and hot-rodding? Obviously not! The Australian police confiscate cars from hot-rodders if caught doing burn outs and drag racing. The cars are then crushed and filmed and, the footage is used in TV campaigns against 'hooning', as it's called in Australia. The Japanese police should be more concerned with the irresponsible and reckless driving than kids listening to music while riding their bicycles.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Meanwhile, an autopsy revealed that Shota did not die as a result of the crash, NHK reported Wednesday. He died from injuries received after apparently being dragged along by Komi’s truck, police said.

argh. Poor kid. And even poorer daughter who survived but lost her whole family in one blow.

Drinking, driving and run, I hope this guy never sees the light of day again.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Usually, when a product is found to cause harm it willi be recalled, it's use heavily restricted, or it will be removed from shelves altogether. If, for instance, toasters killed f 1.25 million year after year, I highly doubt we'd still be using them. Cars are dumb.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Poor family RIP "Komi was quoted by police as saying he and his friends had been at a restaurant before the accident and that he had drank one tankard of beer before getting into his truck" yer alright, pull the other one.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

OMG, what a tragedy! RIP.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Komi said he knew he hit "something" but didn't know what it was. 800 meters is almost a kilometer of driving with a body being dragged underneath.

There's no way he didn't know unless he decided to drive with his eyes close as he watched his buddies slam into another car. That's usually an eye-opener.

Especially since he was escaping from a scene of an accident where he and his dipwad friends were speeding and screwing around.

I hope, but I know he won't, get death for murdering Shota. I hope those injured dipwads, along with Komi, spend the next 40 years in jail. At least ten years for each death.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

In Australia running a red light costs around $500 and 3 points on your licence...and in the cities there are red light cameras everywhere....basically if you drive the way they do here in japan you would lose your licence within a couple of hours. The enforcement here is a bloody joke including the small cost of the fines. About time japan actually modernizes the way it enforces road rules and protects sensible road users and save some bloody lives!!!

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Its obvious the guy in the first car killed the four members. Why no mention of him being charged? He basically killed four people in a matter of seconds. They need to start mentioning the other driver as hit the Nagaokes car. These two thugs and all the others like them need to be taken off the road. Horrible loss and the youngest daughter will need support from everyone around her. Such a shame. Japan if you care, you`d be demanding your police start addressing the red light running, idiot driving problem.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I sincerely hope that Mr. Komi and the driver of the first car spend the rest of their natural lives behind bars for this crime. The list of things they did - driving drunk, riding twice the speed limit, racing each other, running a red light - this elevates it beyond negligence and well into intentional, malicious behavior that resulted in the deaths of 4 innocent people. Actually in Komi's case I hope they charge him with murder of that boy - he deliberately drove for 800 metres while dragging the kid and that is what caused the kid's death. I know he says he didn't know the kid was there but that is obviously a self serving lie, how could he not have known?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

RIP, wear your seat-belts people!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Well said Sufer21! Well said!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just read above --in Dis's post-- what OZZIE LAW ENFORCEMENT does, the key word being ENFORCEMENT! That is policing, keeping others save by stopping others idiocy. THERE7s where we can learn from Australia. Crush the cars of ANYONE doing this selfish idiocy. Preferably with the dots inside! This totally senseless loss of people's lives due to these "#$%"$"#$ makes ME so angry.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Drinking and driving, doing twice the speed limit, and running red lights. I hope Komi and the passengers in his car all get life for all four deaths plus time for the injured girl who lost her family. This is sickening, and the fact that the driver of the truck that followed "doesn't remember" is pretty indicative that they were all drunker than they claim, and the admittance that they liked hot-rodding proof of crazy driving, etc. Time to get serious about drinking and driving, police of Japan. Give these guys each four counts of life and then some, and take the liquor license away from the restaurant they were at before the accident (if not charging the owner). If the vehicles belonged to the companies the kids worked for, take them away and charge the companies as well. And for the love of god please start doing more spot checks outside of the publicly announced safety campaign week every year!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Tailgating again...108 km/h and 25 metres apart. See and experience this time and time again, so it is no wonder people die. Reaction distance and stopping distance in both dry and wet weather should be in all driver's minds, at whatever speed they travel. And enforce the law.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Time to get serious about drinking and driving, police of Japan.

Won't make a jot of difference. Men like Komi and his buddies are dyed-in-the-wool morons and absolutely nothing will change their behaviour.

These people were born stupid. They can't be helped.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

re a few comments above. yes, need red light cameras like in Australia. unbelievable in Japan. disgusting the driving habits here.

re tailgating.... it is unbelievable how idiots get on my behind on the highways.. as if they were F1 drivers on the track. I have been in some close fights with a few. Really really dangerous. Try that stuff in the US or Australia. I can see why Japanese get into trouble when they go overseas.

not bashing Japan. love the place. but the roads are bad.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I feel so bad for the surviving 12 year old girl. She has no family now, and her life is completely ruined by these drunk joy riding idiots! I hope they get some serious jail time. This isn't man slaughter, this is vehicular homicide, and they need to think long and hard about how they are going to repay this girl for what they took from her.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A drunk driver at 108 km/hr killed some one needs long jail sentence ... I hope not suspended sentence because he is a ( minor ) of 26 years old.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@pointifview

"Its obvious the guy in the first car killed the four members. Why no mention of him being charged? He basically killed four people in a matter of seconds. They need to start mentioning the other driver"

Don't worry, it's coming. It hasn't happened yet because he was injured and is in hospital. The police are waiting for him to recover enough to be questioned and then he'll be charged.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Running red lights is now endemic here. The laws are not enforced, violators are not caught, more and more people do it. I try to console myself with the thought that after all Japan still is an Asian country. I can't keep track of the near misses I've had. The drivers coming barreling down the middle of the road - the painted center line means nothing to them - the ones turning right right in front of you ignoring the light. So many people become instant idiots as soon as they slide behind the wheel. What is the purpose of having a traffic police department? To clean up after mishaps? Are they not about enforcing laws, securing traffic safety other than by stale slogans? The awareness does not seem to exist. I love living here but that does not mean I can condone stupidity and ignorance. I feel angry and sad about the injustice done to the poor family. The injustice and pain inflicted not only by the jerks who directly caused the crash but also authorities that are not doing their jobs: enforcement, prevention.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I know plenty of people who street race at night. It's pretty easy to do safely: don't consume alcohol and don't run red lights (I've seen groups of cars blow through lights at 100+ kph, that's absolutely dangerous and wrong). Mostly people drift/touge/drag race in remote areas that almost never see traffic at late hours. Partly to avoid incidents like this, and also because those areas are usually less policed (fewer noise complaints from residents, probably).

Hokkaido DOES have a circuit but I'm not sure if they have track days there, or how much they cost...

Either way, RIP to the dead family.

@kingbee

re tailgating.... it is unbelievable how idiots get on my behind on the highways..

When this happens....are you in the rightmost lane aka fast lane/passing lane? As a driver with several powerful sports cars, few things are more annoying than getting stuck behind somebody putting along at 10kph below the speed limit in the passing lane, while there's a truck/kei car in the slow lane too!

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Japan needs to get more proactive with these people running red lights a blocking intersection because they don't want to miss the light. The police need to get out of their Koban's and do some real policing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

You're telling me this guy drove home, woke up and saw the news and had an 'inkling' he had something to do with it and handed himself over?

Umm. Ok.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He says he hit something but didn't know what it was. But if he was innocent and had a clear conscience, he would have stopped after seeing his friends plough into that innocent family's car. But he didn't even stop to help his friends. You don't have to be Sherlock to smell the BS.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Drinking and driving, doing twice the speed limit, and running red lights. I hope Komi and the passengers in his car all get life for all four deaths plus time for the injured girl who lost her family

Komi was in a pickup truck FOLLOWING the car that killed four of the members of the family. How would he be charged in the four deaths?

Komi struck the fifth family member and dragged him for almost a kilometer before whatever body part was caught under the pickup truck broke free or was ground-down enough to fall free. Komi gets no "pass" because he obviously knew the car in front had a serious crash and did not stop to assist. Instead he ran, dragging the unfortunate Shota along under his truck. He's at least partially responsible for Shota's death and so should be charged, but I don't see how he can be charged in the other four deaths.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Komi was in a pickup truck FOLLOWING the car that killed four of the members of the family. How would he be charged in the four deaths? ... He's at least partially responsible for Shota's death and so should be charged, but I don't see how he can be charged in the other four deaths.

In some jurisdictions street racers are responsible for all injuries and damage resulting from their actions.

Only 25m back from the other car, at 108 kph, on a street zoned for around 50 kph.

Sentences for robbers are similarly grouped when fatalities result from their actions, even for those who didn't directly cause the fatalities (didn't pull the trigger, etc.).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pretty obvious that he waited until he'd sobered up before going to the police.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Noble713

Public roads are not meant for people to drag each other on, regardless of whether they aren't drinking or running red lights. That thinking is a bit naive isn't it? You want to race and drive like an idiot? Go to a racetrack as you mentioned..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Noble713

I have worked with idiots like you who think their driving skill somehow overcomes the laws of physics and will guarantee no poor sod will be coming around the corner while you're playing your own lives away. Grow the hell up or wrap yourself around a tree somewhere isolated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This maybe the only time Seppuku should be commited by these idiots as atonement. But of course they won't. Poor unlucky family. Geez...dragged to death. Horrible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How is an establishment serving alcohol supposed to control what someone does after they walk out the facility? Everyone who is issued a driver's license knows that you are not to drink and then drive. It is the sole responsibility of the person who chooses to drink not to drive. Only those responsible for the accident are to be charged, not the establishment who served alcohol. This has to be one of Japan's worst automobile accidents in recent history where alcohol, speeding, and reckless acts are involved. Very sad!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How is an establishment serving alcohol supposed to control what someone does after they walk out the facility?

Most if not all restaurants and drinking establishments will ask who's driving and not serve that person alcohol. But of course if they lie and all say that they walked, or stop by a combini on the way home and chug a case of beer, then its not the establishment's responsibility.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Thought he might have been involved"??!!! WTF??!!!

He was 25 meters behind his buddies that slammed into the family's car while he was racing them! How could he possibly think he was not involved? And then not only did he drag poor Shota, but I see he also took off and left his own buddies for dead too. What utter scum.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can't wait til he rolls out the time-honoured 'sumimasen, I was drunk'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When this happens....are you in the rightmost lane aka fast lane/passing lane? As a driver with several powerful sports cars, few things are more annoying than getting stuck behind somebody putting along at 10kph below the speed limit in the passing lane,

What is the point in owning "several powerful sports cars" if you can only drive them at the speed limit anyway. Oh. thats right. You don't. Im sure you think you're a great driver. Im sure the morons that caused the deaths of this family thought so too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The driver of the car that hit the car carrying the Nagaoke family has now been arrested. And is said to be claiming he had the green light.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think "sumimasen, I was drunk" works when it is a driving crime. What a sad story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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