Police have arrested a taxi driver in Katsuragi, Nara Prefecture, over the death of a passenger who fell out of his taxi.
According to police, the small security camera inside the taxi captured footage of a 71-year old man, who appeared to be drunk, falling out of the right side back seat of the taxi traveling along an expressway at 12:40 a.m. on Dec 13, Fuji TV reported. The driver, Kazuo Terai, 64, apparently was not aware that the door had opened and that the passenger, identified as Yasukatsu Okuda, had tumbled out.
Police said that Okuda was hit by a vehicle following the taxi and died of injuries in hospital later.
Police said Terai arrived at the intended destination about 10 minutes after the incident. However, upon glancing at the backseat to announce their arrival, he was quoted by police as saying he was surprised that the passenger had gone. The taxi driver told police he got out of the car and after checking the back seat more thoroughly, proceeded to head back toward the highway hoping to find his missing passenger.
Police later arrested Terai for leaving the scene of an accident. Terai has denied the charges and told police that at first, he had thought his passenger was a fare dodger, trying to get off without paying after they had arrived at their destination.
Terai told police he heard a noise in the back seat at the time Okuda fell out, and that he asked him "Are you OK?" without turning around to see what had happened.
Police said that Okuda called his wife to say he'd been drinking in Osaka and that he was feeling sick. The video indicates that he may have opened the door to vomit and then fell out of the taxi.© Japan Today