crime

Station wagon being chased by police hits car, killing one, injuring another

30 Comments

A station wagon being pursued by an unmarked police car slammed into another car, killing one of its occupants and seriously injuring another in Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Saturday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 12:30 a.m., Fuji TV reported. The patrol car noticed the station wagon, with illegal modifications. The police car flashed its red light and ordered the station wagon to pull over.

However, the station wagon sped away along a national highway, going through a red light. It then slammed into the side of a car at an intersection, killing a woman, Rina Igarashi, 23, and injuring her husband Taketo, 22, who was driving.

The driver of the station wagon abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot, but was arrested on Saturday afternoon. He was identified as Eisaku Tanaka, an unemployed 33-year-old man of unknown address.

He was quoted by police as saying he fled because he didn't have a driver's license and had made illegal modifications to his car windows.

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30 Comments
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That is what cop cams are for.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why police departments around the world continue to engage in these needlessly risky high speed chases, I do not know. It puts the public at great risk, it's not worth it.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

@oldman_13 - from the article I can't tell if the police were pursuing at high speed or not. I agree though that high speed chases are dangerous and police need to be very careful about how they deal with pursuit situations, but at the same time can't help but feel responsibility lies with anyone but the offender.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

how can an "unemployed 33-year-old man of unknown address" afford a station wagon, and afford to modify it in such a way that attracts the attention of the police?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

High speed pursuit in Japan, with crowded roads puts people at risk. An infraction such as tinted windows is not worth anyone's death.......

4 ( +9 / -5 )

This problems comes from the inconsistency of the police. They don't make a concentrated effort to stop these kinds of car punks from modifying their vehicles and becoming unlicenced hoons. I was at the beach in Chiba last weekend and the cops had a big set up for pulling over cars in both directions. I'm not sure what the purpose was. Possibly, for seat belts. However, I saw a large group of 'bosozoku' including a few nodded cars with the exhaust pipes sticking up over the roof go straight through the check point. A few of the boso punks were teasing the cops as they went passed, but not one of them got stopped. Chiba and Ibaraki coasts are plagued with these idiots and the cops do nothing about them until, one day, a cop will decide to chase one and then, this is the result. The passive policing policy allows these hoons to multiply and become a huge public risk and annoyance.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

A tragic loss of life. Book him for manslaughter/negligent homicide and everything else possible. We can only hope that this will spur the authorities to crack down on all bosozoku, which are training grounds for various forms of petty /street crime, as well as yakuza recruiting pools.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why police departments around the world continue to engage in these needlessly risky high speed chases, I do not know. It puts the public at great risk, it's not worth it.

Indeed. I have a friend in Oxford who suffered grievous injuries and had to be cut out of her mangled car after it was struck by a police car doing a high speed chase. She survived only because Oxford has a concentration of absolute top class medical talent.

I would note, however, that this article does not make it clear whether the police had actually initiated a high speed chase when the fleeing driver struck the other car. It simply says there was a pursuit.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Another one killed by the police! Congrats!

Huh? The guy driving broke the law by illegally modifying his car. He then failed to pull over when told to. He then tried to run away from the police. By speeding. He then ran a red light. And killed someone.

By my count that's 5 separate examples of breaking the law, BEFORE killing someone.

And you blame the police?!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Tamara the policemen should have anticipated that by startling the criminal he would flee and they would have to pursue in a dangerous chase. If they were smart and had any regard for public safety they would have approached the suspect more subtly. But this logic doesn't appear to the dimwitted tools of the state.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@Tamara the policemen should have anticipated that by startling the criminal he would flee and they would have to pursue in a dangerous chase. If they were smart and had any regard for public safety they would have approached the suspect more subtly.

How do you know they didn't?

And even if they didn't, this is 100% on the perpetrator.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Car cases are best with to the movies. There are plenty of ways of tracking cars other than engaging in dangerous pursuits that kill innocent people.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Sounds like dark tints on the front door windows. I saw one idiot with a windscreen so tinted he couldn't do more than 15 kph.

Agreed on the overly passive policing. There are too many instances of sunblinds and curtains (the latter a trucker favourite) on front door windows - I've even seen an elderly couple with a blind on the windscreen (to protect the Mrs' complexion?).

These need to be policed as part of every officer's daily routine (a ¥10,000 fine would be sufficient deterrent), and not just deferred to traffic patrols.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maybe, but we live in times with sophisticated surveillance technology

Sure, and yet, this is still 100% the fault of the perpetrator.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If it happened to be at a police checkpoint, and the offender sped off without reason, smashed into and killed someone, the police would be blamed by the dimwitted tools who they are trying to protect for not doing enough. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These need to be policed as part of every officer's daily routine (a ¥10,000 fine would be sufficient deterrent), and not just deferred to traffic patrols.

And, how is this supposed to be accomplished? A cop standing in front of a koban sees a car that might be illegally modified so he runs down the street chasing it or hops on a bicycle and goes after it?

And "every officer's daily routine"? Does this mean that you want cops who are investigating murders, rape, and other violent crime to spend part of their day eyeballing passing traffic to see if some punk has tinted window glass where he shouldn't?

And do you really think 10,000 yen would deter people who modify their cars or trucks? Points against their DL might be a deterrent but relative to what people spend modifying their wheels, especially compared to what truckers spend, 10,000 is pocket change.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To the people saying it's the police's fault, the reason so many of these ppl try to speed away is that they can then later claim they weren't the ones driving. Not sure about in Japan but judges in many other countries naturally put the onus of proof on the police, which of course they are unable to do unless they catch the driver in the act. Hence pursuits will continue until judges are willing to put the onus of proving or disproving the driver of a car on the owner of an illegally driven vehicle.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's simple to do! Look in car parks and clamp and/or remove vehicles with these mods Also, at the entrances to expressway just stop the cars then Not that difficult to do....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And, how is this supposed to be accomplished?

This is road safety 1.0, bullfighter, and omawari-san suggests some proactivity.

I've nearly been run over by someone because a door curtain obscured their view, and even seen a liveried taxi with front door blinds.

Rina Igarashi might be alive today if we had less laissez-faire, and more pro-active policing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am not sure if the police needed to turn this into a major chase or not...having said that, I would give the offender at least 5 years in prison for manslaughter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is road safety 1.0, bullfighter, and omawari-san suggests some proactivity.

You said "These need to be policed as part of every officer's daily routine." That's considerably more than some. And there is proactive policing including booze check road blocks at various times of the year. I live near a police box situated at a major intersection (Asukayama). They are always flagging people down.

I've nearly been run over by someone because a door curtain obscured their view, and even seen a liveried taxi with front door blinds.

Tell me about it. I cycle all over hell and gone in Tokyo and Yokohama.

Rina Igarashi might be alive today if we had less laissez-faire, and more pro-active policing.

Pure speculation. And I cannot understand what you mean by proactive policing. The cop stopped the guy because of illegal modifications. Would you want the cops to go around looking at parking lots or private garages trying to find illegally modified vehicles? Would you want them sitting outside auto parts stores questioning people about what they are going to do with the kit they just bought? Would you want the cops to set up random roadblocks all over Japan and check every vehicle for illegal modifications?

Further, illegal modifications are not necessarily dangerous modifications. American manufacturers of automobiles have long complained about the cost of making North American vehicles "street legal" in Japan. They have repeatedly asserted that the modifications they are required to do have nothing to do with safety and are in fact a form of protectionism.

Finally, I would note that the guy at the center of this tragedy had a reason to flee unrelated to illegal modifications. He did not have a DL. How would you want the cops to be proactive about that? Random road blocks all over Japan where people would be required to show their DL? Make it mandatory that you show your DL when you buy petrol the way you have to show your DL when you buy beer in some US states?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why police departments around the world continue to engage in these needlessly risky high speed chases

Presumably so they can catch criminals? Can you imagine a world where a criminal can automatically get away just by going X mph over the speed limit?

Yes, police officers should and sometimes do abandon chases where it simply gets too dangerous. But it's obviously a fine line, otherwise as I mentioned the police will just let anyone accelerate away from them and give up.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And there is proactive policing including booze check road blocks at various times of the year. I live near a police box situated at a major intersection (Asukayama). They are always flagging people down.

Congratulations on having some proactive cops in your neighborhood . I,ve lived here for a decade, drive daily and have never come across a booze check road block. Ever. When conversation turns to driving i have mentioned it to friends countless times. And i also have major roads and koban nearby. Ive seen cops outside their koban checking seatbelts a few of times and that's about it. Ive seen them ignore drivers with cellphones and little kids witbout seatbelts jumling on passenger seats. speechless. The only proactive approach ive seen in all these years is pulling over high school kids and checking their bikes. Not sure whether the approach is dependent on the particular prefectural force managment approach but its incomparable to where i come from.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Presumably so they can catch criminals? Can you imagine a world where a criminal can automatically get away just by going X mph over the speed limit?

Exactly. Too many people looking for the wrong people to blame.

The responsibility is entirely with the criminal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not sure whether the approach is dependent on the particular prefectural force managment approach but its incomparable to where i come from.

Haven't driven in either Japan or the UK for some years. When I did drive, it was primarily in western Japan. There seemed to be quite a bit of variation as you suggest at the prefecture level. As I recall Tottori was really strict. Osaka was wild.

I would imagine there is still substantial regional variation. Next time I get a chance I'll ask my brother-in-law. He's in the construction industry and drives all over the Kanto region. Unfortunately, I don't know any long distance truck or bus drivers, I would imagine they would be well aware of regional variation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

license plates????

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Headlines like this make me nuts. The station wagon wasnt being chased - and the station wagon didnt kill. It was the driver.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Funny folks like to blame the police for everything.

This man made a decision, he decided to run, he decided to drive without a license, he modified his car, he ran and killed someone, not the police.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

C'mon, man! So you get a couple of misdemeanor tickets and have to pay a fine. Isn't that better than being charged with vehicular manslaughter, etc?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never seen any active action...while indeed you hear and know where bosozuku are. Still in that case, the only ond to blame is tbat scum driver.

RIP to Rina and condoleances to husband and family. So young.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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