Japan Today

Man killed by door of car that suddenly started; driver arrested


Police in Saitama said Saturday they have arrested an 18-year-old high school boy after the open door of the car he was driving hit and killed a male pedestrian.

According to police, the incident occurred in Sakura Ward at around 10 p.m. on March 28. TBS reported that Koichi Shimizu, 43, was standing on the sidewalk when the car driven by the high-school boy suddenly and unexpectedly accelerated while the driver's seat door was still open. Shimizu was sideswiped by the door and sustained fatal injuries.

According to eyewitness reports, the car had been ahead of Shimizu. It then backed up, and swerved onto the sidewalk. TBS quoted police as saying the driver -- who is a minor and cannot be named -- did not have a driver's license and that he fled the scene.

Following his arrest, the boy confirmed to police that the car door was indeed open, but that he had no intention of killing anyone.

Although the two were said to be not acquainted, an outburst of angry shouting had been heard just before the accident occurred, TBS reported.

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A little cash, a sincere gomenasai, and he'll walk away a free man. Oops, I mean minor that can't be named.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

I don't know... that witness statement sure sounds like it was intentional to me.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Prosecutors should have the right, without judicial review, to charge minors as adults.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

"Let the punishment fit the crime..."

6 ( +7 / -1 )

They should be punished like adults, not scolded as though they're children.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And this little scumbag will, at worst, spend a year and a bit in 'reform' before he's back out to do it again.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What facts do you have to jump to any conclusion that the boy is guilty. He may not have known that he hit the accelerator and being a young man was afraid and tried to run away. No one should judge this young man or his intentions with the no evidence that is reported.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )


"did not have a driver’s license and that he fled the scene."

is good enough to put the punk in jail for some good years, even if the prosecution can't prove intent. But with witnesses to "angry shouting" and a car that "suddenly backs up and swerves into the sidewalk with the door open" just at the right timing to kill the victim, the defines will have a hell of a hard time to prove lack of intent.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'm surprised there is not more "road rage" problems in Japan. There are a lot of stressed out salarymen and such that are ticking time bombs. I once... very accidently... ran into a guy ( while on my bicycle and he his ) after he had breaked for no apparent reason right in front of me. He wasn't hurt, nor was his bicycle.... but boy did he explode. I quickly apologized, and apologized again, but he just kept going, and going. After about 3 minutes I started to get mad myself that the guy would not shut up. I mean... he was fine and so was his bike. After a bit I just yelled in Japanese at the guy... just shut already... you're fine!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Dana, there probably is but it is not much reported, lots of young reckless drivers in Japan (and IMHO too old taxi drivers)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stop treating 18 years old as child. His age can have children if he was married.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kent, sorry for my ignorance but put one of your family member at the place of victim and tell me honestly would you still think 18 years old person without a license need to let go without any punishment? (43 old man could be supporting entire family). First he is 18, second he have no license, he is old enough to know he shouldn't drive car when he have no license. But he still drive and ignoring safety of others by leaving the car door open.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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