Man gets 2 1/2 years for reckless driving resulting in death


A 29-year-old man was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for causing the death of a 38-year-old woman and injuring her 1-year-old son, when his truck went through a red light at an intersection in Soka, Saitama Prefecture, in February.

The Saitama District Court heard that the truck, driven by Shizuo Yageta, 29, went through a red light and slammed into another truck coming from the left, and then hit a car, at around 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday Feb 8. It went onto the sidewalk where it hit Miki Arai and her son who were on their way home from kindergarten. Arai suffered severe head injuries and was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her son suffered light injuries.

Police arrested Yageta at the scene and later charged him with reckless driving resulting in death and injury. He was quoted by police as saying he was checking a street map on his smartphone when the accident occurred.

Arai had been due to resume working the next day after taking maternity leave.

Following the verdict, the victim's husband, Kenji Arai, told the media that he appreciates the judge's decision and believes that the judge "understood (the gravity of the case) more than (he) expected," Sankei Shimbun reported. "I want to tell my wife that it's all over."

He also addressed Yageta, telling him, "You're still young, so I hope you'll be able to build a family of your own; a family we couldn't have."

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Seems like he got off easy.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The charge would be vehicular manslaughter where income from and he would be facing 7-10 years in jail. He would also most likely be banned from driving for life. Driving a vehicle is a responsibility, not a right and abuses of that responsibility should come with harsh consequences. I drive every day and over half of the drivers I see are staring at heir phones.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hats off for the dad. He could have said the driver a totally different thing full of hate and vengeance. Instead, he chose to hope something good for him.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Despite the short sentence, don't think for one second that this event won't change his life forever. It will forever be on his record and conscience. He won't be able to get decent jobs or even build relationships. Who wants to hang out or date a guy that killed a mother who recently had a baby and was walking her child to Kindergarten.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He was looking at his cell phone at the time, 2.5 years seems a bit low for killing a mother and destroying a childs life.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

unfortunately I see gross disregard for traffic laws on a daily basis and almost no action from the police. running a red light or the first 3 seconds of it is as common as onigiri in Tokyo.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

He was on his smartphone. I see this all the time in Tokyo, and it scares the hell out of me. This is really something the police should clamp down on, instead of doing silly things like stopping bicyclists for no reason.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, 2 1/2 years? For murder? That is not going to discourage people from driving recklessly. So we should be asking who his father or uncle is. Probably local big shots.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He was looking at his phone when driving. It was a deliberate act of wreckless driving.

He got a very light sentence - the punishment does not fit the crime.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@WilliB - I completely agree. I tried to upvote you but for some reason it doesn't work for you comment (it works for other comments though)...

I also really wish the police would crack down on using smartphones and other distractions while driving. I see it all the time and it's so dangerous. They need some very strict punishments and equally strict implementation of the law.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A Saitama judge, for sure, in what is another bell-jar sentence. 2 1/2 years for a life in this nation, as well as nearly killing a toddler. Not nearly enough time on the sentence. Should be a minimum 15 years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A Saitama judge, for sure, in what is another bell-jar sentence. 2 1/2 years for a life in this nation, as well as nearly killing a toddler. Not nearly enough time on the sentence. Should be a minimum 15 years.

Wow I wonder if every accident is punished like this if that would change the crime rate or something. No, no, it wouldn’t. This guy claimed he checked his maps which is probably what he did. Now he has a life on his hands and I’m sure even those 2.5 years might be enough to drive a normal guy crazy.

Why do you want more time? This isn’t a criminal. This is an average citizen who did something stupid. Even the husband didn’t want vengeance so why are you seeking it?

If he did stay in for another 13 years, that would leave one less job unfulfilled, and surely when he returns he might not even have the strength to job hunt. He might just kill more people after turning insane.

Sorry but you clearly a victim of the system if you think accidents should be categorized as intentions. Now go blame phone developers for not blocking access while driving.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Can't count how many people use smartphone meanwhile driving. Everyday I see driver deliberately crossing red light. I've never seen ANY cops in 8 years at such big intersection...Totally agree with williB!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WilliB's votes are frozen. Hmm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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