Motorcyclist dies, school girl passenger injured after police chase in Yokohama


A motorcyclist died and his school girl passenger was injured after a police chase in Yokohama on Sunday morning, police said Monday.

Kotaro Iha, 23, died after he crashed his motorbike into a car during a police chase around 7:25 a.m. A 14-year-old school girl who was on the bike with him suffered injuries to her legs. Police said the chase began after Iha ran a red light.

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Unfortunately being a m/c rider since back in '46 I have read similiar situations. It is a pity that someone will have a pillion rider of that age & probably not with proper protective riding gear.

To try & outrun the police is a true dumb thing & can lead to dangers/injuries beyond belief.

If I hear the police behind me, when up in the roads here in the Canadianh Rockie mountains, first thing I do is hit the signal light that I am pulling over to stop & also raise my hand so they will know this to be true.

Being an older rider (though I am on some hot trotting Sportbikes) I am befuddled at the attudes of other riders in this world.

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Or as my father used to say; 'There are old riders and there are bold riders but there are no old-bold riders.'

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Maybe he'd done this so many times before that he was confident he could get away. Besides he probably didn't want to get accused of having sex with a minor.

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Been a Rider for 36yrs myself now. Had my spills but the skins protected me. Also lost too many buddies.

I know a different version to the saying above "There are 2 types of riders those that came off and those that still will".

Myself like to have a god 1~2mm of cow-hide between me and the tarmac, yeah I wear full leathers, full-face and expect same/similar for my pillions.

Said that I prefer choppers(japanese) and touring bikes, used to like the speed(had a 750 chopper that got clocked at 210km/h) when I was young but the bones can't take the pose anymore and had a few close calls. Biking is dangerous and if you get over-confident, etc you WILL get killed.

Seen it too often bike has an accident and the pillion buys it, nothing to do with the rider but the pillion is at a way higher risk.

Now add a Rider that thinks he can ride/control his over-powered crotch-rocket wearing shorts/t-shirt and sandals and guess what?

As for trying to outrun the cops = madness, with a passenger on the back = you will kill the passenger.

I had the good and bad passengers on my Bike> The good ones you don't feel the bad ones you tell to get off after the first corner and walk home. Not kidding you a bad passenger will get your rear-wheel to go the wrong way in a corner and cause a crash.

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Sounds like the stupid bozoku.

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14 year old gf? Jeez, the people in this country and their fetish with young-uns. So long, pal.

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Darwin at work here, folks.

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Yes, well, most people know you shouldn't do this and that, but there will always be folks trying to outrun the cops. I think there is something here like stopping pursuit when things get out of hand. Don't cop cars/bikes nowadays have camera equipment? Must be easy to take a picture of the licence plate.

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Unfortunately, it is not so easy to take a picture of the license plate. The reason seems to be that the drivers who don't want to follow the rules of the road bend their license plate in a way that it is nearly parallel to the road and quite difficult to read. At least this is what I have seen so far.

Careful and law abiding motorbike riders: license plate clearly visible.

Motorbike riders like the one we are talking about here: probably the license plate is somehow modified to prevent easy reading by authorities.

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This is what I call 'self sentencing'. The judge would have given him a lighter one. MHSRIP.

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so much speculation that the girl was in fact an under aged girlfriend?

I mean, the "story" is not even a full paragraph yet so much speculation and theories have come out of it.

IMO the deceased could have been a brother of the girl. I surely hope when I'm driving my young teenage brothers and their friends to school and their sports practices that people don't assume they are my under aged lovers.

not to mention maybe his running of the red light.. many people here in Japan do it and they aren't bad ass like you make this poor guy out to be.they might be in a rush and see enough time to get there before the traffic moves. I witness it everyday, many people are in hurries especially around that time. Perhaps he thought he could make it, didn't see the police... and panicked. simple as that.

I hardly see how making theories about some guy, who is unable to defend himself or explain what happened because he lost his life is necessary. He has a family, people who love him. I'm sure talking about someone who died and speculating on how makes a lot of you feel big and detective like... but keep it to yourselves and let the poor guy RIP.

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Damn, if this was the states, the family of the dead guy AND the family of the girl (assuming they are different) would be suing the police for chasing them to their death (assuming the police were physically right behind the guy.)

In california at least, when there is a chase, the cops just follow the guy, (not chase him), use their radio's and funnel him into a place where they can just wait him out. Not that difficult.

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Speculating is what goes on in these blogs and you are doing just that too. "IMO the deceased could have been a brother of the girl." or "Perhaps he thought he could make it, didn't see the police... and panicked."

Welcome to the world of bloggers.....

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Running away from police with an underage girl on the back of his scooter?

What an idiot.

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Hate to break that self righteous bubble of yours, but the story was posted on JT with the sole intention to have people comment on it. What's the point in keeping comments to ourselves? This site is rife with speculating and theorizing. Keeping opinions to ourselves defeats the whole purpose here.

The guy likely ran because he feared the consequences of his actions. He thought that by running he could get away with breaking the law. Who knows what would have happened, maybe they just wanted to give him a warning? This guys actions are the epitome of selfishness. To put your own life in danger is one thing, but to put others lives in danger just so that you can get away with doing something everyone agrees is wrong - shouldnt garner sympathy. Of course may he RIP, but it didnt have to end like it did. People here have to be accountable for their actions at all times. Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time.

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The biker sounds like an imbecile, but the police, who as ever should know better, have no business endangering the life of his passenger by chasing him.

As for the typical Japanese city biker, with no eye protection, a pudding bowl helmet hanging down the back of his neck, puffing on a fag while chatting to his mini-skirted girl on the back, and a road manner that seems to suggest he has a death wish... god knows how they get away with it most of the time. Is there no road safety education in Japan?

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kawaiitenshi you have to be Japanese because only a naive Japanese person would come to the conclusions that you've come to. The norm in Japan is that YES, many J-men date young under aged girls in this country and YES they are certainly many bosozoku (not sure if I'm saying it right) who do things like run red lights and then try to outrun the police. As this is the norm, your assumptions are based on the exception to the rule. So if this guy was innocently driving his young sister to school and just happen to be in a rush running a red light, but generally of good character until the police start chasing him, then it would be a first. Even putting it all together in a sentence sounds absurd.

And the reason why I say you must be Japanese is because that is also a Japanese norm, whenever a Japanese does something or is suspected of doing something wrong in this country, Japanese people always want to sweep it under the carpet, rationalize it, live in denial and/or blame it on the foreigners. It's the reason why things never change and the reason why they are getting worse.

As Japanese, you can no longer wish your crime, HIV epidemic, child abuse, high suicide rate, rape, pedophilia etc... away, it's time to admit there's a problem and start taking steps to deal with. The more you try to deny it, the worse these problems will get until you eventually drown in your own deceit.

As far as this story is concerned, I think the police also have responsibility for this guy's death. They should have broken off pursuit when things began to look dangerous. My father is a retired police officer and I know that in America, the police will pull back if they think the person they are chasing is in danger of hurting himself and/or others. But also typical Japanese behavior is the lack of concern for human life.

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7:45 on a Sunday morning - very few people are just waking up with a 14 year old to have a pleasure ride on a bike. I usually stay these summer weekends at my wife's second house in Shonan area. I hear so many of the Bozosokus that all I can do is shake my head when I look at what they are not only doing, but what they are doing it on, crappy bikes that really only make a lot of noise. I have witnessed a lot of possible accidents with them coming head on with car and yes with young girls on the back.

Before anyone claims the police should have, or could have done something different is far from the point. The point is you don't become a Bozo on a bike. Yes, the article doesn't say, but I'll bet my cash on it.

Oh, and for an adult to have a 14 year old on his bike sounds familiar to a very highly publicized case concerning an American where people went off the deep end. At least he only kissed the girl, he didn't harm her.

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Furthermore, IMO if all the guy was guilty of was running a red light I think he would have stopped for the police. Guilty people run plain & simple. He was obviously guilty of something more than a simple traffic violation to prompt him to try and outrun the police. In 20 years of living in Japan, I've definitely been pulled over by the police on my bike and in my car (both extremely fast) but attempting to outrun them has never been a thought on my mind.

Now I'm not saying I was innocent, I've paid my share of fines, what I'm saying is I wasn't guilty enough of something so bad to cause me to panic and try and outrun them. So please don't make excuses for this guy. He was guilty of something and his actions prove it.

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One of the problems I see, is not only did the rider not stopping as the police demanded, but probably the young woman was not with proper protective gear & this is something I note in my area of Cdn., AND if he spills then so often the improperly pillion rider is injured. Also to a female the idea of having road rashes that will show up in future years-----that is really to much.

As for the age of the girl, then so much will depend upon the ways of the Japanese laws be he in the wrong, why at such a strange hour & so much more.

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As for the typical Japanese city biker, with no eye protection, a pudding bowl helmet hanging down the back of his neck, puffing on a fag while chatting to his mini-skirted girl on the back, and a road manner that seems to suggest he has a death wish... god knows how they get away with it most of the time. Is there no road safety education in Japan?

Yeah, but apparently it's only for us "unruly foreigners". Has anyone here ever tried taking the Japanese driver's license test? An absolute joke. The questions are strangely worded in English so that they don't make any sense at all, and when me and several other examinees pointed that out to the non-English speaking Japanese test examiner, he shouted "preposterous" and quickly dismissed us as idiots even though as an American, I'm a native English speaker.

The questions on the test made about as much sense as some of the stupid crap (in English) you read in Japanese T-Shirts, only worse. They are designed to trick you into failing rather than test your knowledge of Japanese traffic laws. The whole process is rather stupid.

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Oh yeah and at 7:45 AM on a Sunday morning? More-than-likely coming from a Love Hotel than going to school. Besides there's no school on Sunday in Japan.

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What the hell is a 14 year old girl doing with a 23 year old guy anyway? Hope he enjoyed his time with her, and hope it was worth dying for. Glad she will be okay, it's a hard lesson for her.

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kawaiitenshi... when hearing the sounds of hooves think horses, not zebras. I mean, sure, it could be that this was just some innocent story of a young guy giving his little sister a ride to school because he knew getting her to her summer enrichment program was a top priority. It is also possible that the young motorcyclist didn't even see the red light (or the police sirens) because he was so intent on getting his charge to the proper authority where she could be taught the proper moral conduct becoming of young Japanese girls. All things are possible... but watch out you don't step in any zebra poop.

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Another senseless tragedy shakes head. I think what's more important here is why the guy had to risk his life just to avoid a speeding ticket, thus endangering the girl he was with as well. Doesn't matter if it's an underaged girl or not.

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They both should have died. I think they are bosozoku and girl is high school drop out. They guy probably stole the bike anyway. Genetic cleansing. Thanks to police for filtering out the rubbish. Having said that, if this biker had more skill than a drunk monkey, he could have gotten away easily. Unless he was chased by biker cop.

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