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Tokyo motorcyclist killed in hit-and-run

42 Comments

Police said Sunday they are looking for witnesses after a motorcyclist was apparently knocked down in a hit-and-run incident at an intersection in Tokyo's Adachi Ward on Saturday morning.

Police said they received an emergency call informing them that a man was lying on the road, bleeding from the head at around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The man, who has been identified as company employee Susumu Kimura, 28, was taken to hospital, but died of his injuries 8 hours later.

According to police, the front of Kimura's motorcycle was heavily damaged, but there were no tire marks on the road to indicate that he had lost control of his vehicle.

© News reports

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Bleeding from the head? What's the bet he was wearing one of those ridiculous half-head helmets and it was dangling around the back of his neck? I'd also bet he was zooming up the inside lane and got axed in the process. As much as it is wrong for the other driver to run off, I would be very surprised if the accident was actually his fault. Although, at 2am there is a fair chance the other driver was also drunk.

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As a motorcyclist myself. I always ask the question (before riding) am I ready/prepared for an accident? I ask this question because you never know if today will be the day (that's why it's called an accident).

Full-face helmet securely fastened - Check.

Motorcycle gloves - Check.

Motorcycle Jacket c/w Kevlar body armor - Check.

Suitable pants (for journey) - Check.

Motorcycle boots - Check.

If I am not prepared, I will not ride.

Now, some of the idiots I see flying through traffic in a T-shirt, shorts, no gloves and the ridiculous helmet hanging of their head (sometimes with eye-candy riding pillion, also with no real protective gear) makes me feel that some tough measures/rules/enforcement is required. These guys have no idea what tarmac will do to bone & bare skin even at low speed.

Stop being a fool by trying to act cool. Ride safe and wear the correct safety equipment please...

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And yet, faced with the above or someone on a bicycle with no light, guess who the keystones would stop and caution first?

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As a cyclist I wish the cops would stop and caution cyclists with no light at night more often. Menaces to society. Also the keitai texters and red-light ignoring idiots need a good dressing down.

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He died. Spare a thought for those who will miss him so , for now at least, why don't we hold off speculating he was zooming up the inside lane or who wasn't (as implied) properly attired (or is there another reason we should take note of the check list)?

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I wonder was he one of those cyclists who ride around with the loud bikes and like to slow the traffic down by weaving through the streets. I hate to say but if he was, he probably got run down by someone who was tired of putting up with that type of riding. I will also bet that someone was riding on the back with him if that was the case, and fled the scene. Just guessing on that.

But still if he was one of those riders, it is sad that he lost his life.

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Spot on Japanoob; let JT do the speculation.

Has anyone seen anything that helps?

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Japanoob - Yes. take a look at the clothes worn by the average motorcyclist (and scooter riders) they are putting themselves at risk by not wearing adequate protection.

I am not putting any blame on the guy (not enough facts) however, you have to agree that in general terms the level of personal safety taken by most motorcyclists in Tokyo is not enough.

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Bleeding from the head? What's the bet he was wearing one of those ridiculous half-head helmets and it was dangling around the back of his neck? I'd also bet he was zooming up the inside lane and got axed in the process. As much as it is wrong for the other driver to run off, I would be very surprised if the accident was actually his fault.

Ridiculous. From someone who wasn't there and hasn't a clue about what really happened. You may as well add, and then a giant green pig fell out of the sky.

Although, at 2am there is a fair chance the other driver was also drunk.

Make your mind up.

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A few years back , whether this accident is similar or not I dont know , but I was tired and riding through an intersection looking the other way, and a car doing about a 100 clicks took my whole front off 1 second later and I wouldnt be telling you this

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@Disillusioned. You may want to change your moniker to 'curmudgeon'. How about a little compassion? If somebody dies of a heart attack, do you blame him for eating the occasional omelet? The fact that it was determined to be a 'hit and run' suggests that the other driver was at fault. Sheesh!

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Glad to know so many poster's are offended by my conclusive comment based on the few facts of this article and 'the norm' that I see every day. Yeah, he is dead, but that doesn't mean he is deserved of any pity. Scooter riders and motorcyclists, who do not take care when riding and/or wear appropriate safety attire are just temporary residents. The hit-and-run is secondary news and just an inevitable part of Japanese road law structure. It is the driver that killed him that is deserved of pity. If this motorcyclist was wearing appropriate attire he would more than likely be alive.

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Why is speculation so frowned upon? that is how all deductions start- through speculation. We make deductions based on what we see everyday. And as a Scooter driver, I lose my life almost everyday to the EXACT same things. Bicycles and pedestrians that dont pay attention to traffic signal, dumba** motorcyclists revving their engines and weaving up both sides of traffic, delivery trucks going 50 kilos over the limit. EVERYDAY I see exactly what Disillusioned described, so it doesnt take being at the scene of an accident to know where the odds lay on what happened. Speculation is the first step.

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tokyokawasaki, glad to hear your safe attitude about riding.

on the other hand, i hope you understand that protective wear offers only slight protection against fatal accidents. There is no way to protect the neck. When the head is involved in a collision, neck fractures occur at a very high rate. Also severe head trauma most likely entails the loss of not only higher brain function, but also use of the limbs. This is almost regardless of the type of head gear worn because of the G forces involved remain unchanged by the helmet. helmets merely minimize damage to the external skull, and not the brain itself which is damaged by sloshing up against the inside of the skull.

The individual in the accident described above, had he lived, would probably have had major brain and /or spinal damage for the rest of his life. statistically speaking, that is. RIP.

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tokyokawasaki:

Your checklist is nice, but how practical is it to put on body armour for every single trip to the supermarket? The whole point of using bike in Tokyo is that it useful; you don´t to go touring in city traffic for fun.

And there is no evidence that any of your gear would have saved this guy; not if he was t-boned at full speed.

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I do not know what happened

but I do know one thing

motorcyclists and automobile drivers are totally wreckless.

When driving or switching lanes, I always have to watch out on my left side for crazy motorcyclists scooters and etc weaving in an out and between my car and the car on my left side.

My wife said it's perfectly legal to pass on the left for motorcyclists.

Trading paint ,wrecking and scratching cars is cool in japan I guess.

Motorcyclists are either stupid or don't understand the consquences of going between to moving automobiles on a highway or a major route way

I rent automobiles once every 2-3 months.

This accident both drivers are at fault because they were not cautious.

Drinking ? Who drank ? Motorcyclist or truck driver , auto driver ?

Who really knows?

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Yeah, he is dead, but that doesn't mean he is deserved of any pity. Scooter riders and motorcyclists, who do not take care when riding and/or wear appropriate safety attire are just temporary residents. The hit-and-run is secondary news and just an inevitable part of Japanese road law structure. It is the driver that killed him that is deserved of pity. If this motorcyclist was wearing appropriate attire he would more than likely be alive.

More cold-hearted nonsense. Show some respect. And even if you wore a full face helmet and full body armour, if a motorcyclist gets hit by a truck then there won't be much left of the motorcyclist. Anyone who passes away deserves respect. And your fairytale assumptions are just that, fairytale assumptions. How would you feel if the story transpires that it was a hit and run with the motorcyclist wearing all the safety protection and riding in a proper manner ? Would'nt you feel pretty stupid ?

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northlondon- i understand your point but being out on the roads everyday and driving in this country is a dangerous thing. And everyday you see SO many people not wearing helmets, double riding, speeding, running lights, sudden illegal stopping, opening doors in traffic, not obeying traffic laws and putting lives (namely mine) in danger. So speculating here is really a matter of playing the odds. Odds are....he was one of the aforementioned. Its very easy to replace this person with the image of every reckless motorcyclist i see everyday. so, in this case, its difficult to show the appropriate respect for loss of life when i feel on a daily basis that they put MY life in danger. Because I am extremely safe and aware and courteous when driving, I am here to speculate on this accident.

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Why is speculation so frowned upon? Because it isn't based on facts and is often the cause of more trouble than is necessary!

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Speculation is just that - speculation. There are no facts attributable to this accident in any of the speculation that's been posted here. A motorcycle rider has died and Disillusioned has already decided what kind of helmet he wore, that he was drunk, and how he drove his bike. Gee if ONLY Disillusioned had been actually there! (Or WAS he?!)

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even if you were there you would still be speculating your opinion. Thats what makes free countries so great. you are allowed to have an opinion. Based on the sheer volume of reckless drivers seen everyday, speculation that this driver is probably one of them is based on the odds of safe law abiding cyclists to non law abiding cyclists. Perhaps many of you ride trains and dont venture out onto the highways and biways of Japan and see this stuff first hand everyday.

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KaptainKichagai, your calculation of the odds does not add up at all. You might see so many motorcyclists, cyclists and truck drivers breaking the law every day, but even that percentage would be, what, 35% of everyone you see breaking the law, max ? And even that percentage is way too high in reality. So that would mean that 65% of motorcyclists, cyclists and truck drivers do drive in the proper manner, which would rubbish your assumption because it would mean that there was a 65% chance that the deceased was riding in a proper manner. Seeing as you like to base everything on assumptions...

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Going between two moving or non moving cars is dangerous. That's why some of the drivers need 2 hours of lectures plus DVD training videos on how to drive a car or ride a motorcycle.

I've never seen so much wreckless driving before in my life.

Also Nippon is the world record holder for " Blind Corners ". If it is easy to see around the corner they will purposefully create a blind corner. I wish I can show pictures of what I'm writing about.

Maybe this guy was coming out of a ------- blind corner !!!!

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northlondon- out of the 20motorcyclists I see everyday, 19 of them violate a traffic law. Its not an assumption, its what I see. Everyday. Of the 100 automobiles i see everyday on my commute, 99 of them break a traffic law at some point. Speeding, illegally stopping, changing lanes using no signals...etc.etc. It is like an obstacle course. Its not an assumption, its witness to a traffic violation.

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On a motorcycle = guilty. He probably purposely ran into the oncoming vehicle. Track down his widow and make her pay for damages to the poor cager's car. That driver, poor guy, is probably going to need some kind of therapy for what the nasty biker did to him. Maybe JT can do some kind of a benefit to cover his PTSD treatments?

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So many posters here (Disillusioned/ KaptainKichigai) would fail even the most simplest of police traffic accident investigator tests. You arrive at a scene where a motorbike is heavily damaged (read the report people). There are no tyre marks on the road to suggest loss of control resulting in the crash (read the report again people). Even at this early stage the police are assuming that the motorcyclist was involved in a hit and run (yep, read the news report). If you had no hard evidence and had to work on speculation and assumptions it would lead to the fact that it was the fault of the person causing the hit and run. Why ? Because they ran without reporting the accident, which would mean a good chance that they caused the accident (which is why they escaped - do I have to spell it out !) Rocket science it is not..

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"based on your statistics we would all be dead". Really? yeah thats exactly what I am saying. Why dont you re read what is being written instead of flying off the handle and trying to project your emotional interpretations of what is written. I said that 19 out of the 20 motorcyclists violates a traffic law. Be it speeding or changing lanes without signaling. I serious doubt such melodrama as "we would all be dead" is going to happen from a motorcyclist not signaling to turn left or a second passenger on a 50cc scooter. The speed limit for scooters is 30kilos per hour. I have never EVER seen a scooter driving this speed nor do any of the cars that are around me following the speed limit. I never said that i was the only one who drives in Japan but it is OBVIOUS that you are not one who does or you would be in the know.

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The most dangerous thing for a scooter is not being allowed to go more than 30km/hour...

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The quote: a man was lying on the road, bleeding from the head does seem to suggest that he was either not wearing a helmet, or he was wearing it in such a way that the helmet did not protect his head.

(The article does not say: 'bleeding from the neck, jaw, face...')

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I've been riding a bike here for 10 years and every time I get on my bike or my scooter I always have a great deal of trepidation. I can't tell you how many times I've almost been run off the road by idiot drivers, especially taxis. You notice any accident in Tokyo and it will inevitably be between a taxi and a scooter, both piloted by equally reprehensible drivers. You take your life in your hands here even on a bicycle and if you ever clip someone, heaven help you. They'll throw the book at you and you'll have to fork over half your salary for the rest of your life here. Hence the hit and run here in this article.

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You take your life in your hands here even on a bicycle and if you ever clip someone, heaven help you. They'll throw the book at you and you'll have to fork over half your salary for the rest of your life here. Hence the hit and run here in this article.

He was hardly 'clipped'. He is now dead. Hit and run in this case is manslaughter at the least.

a man was lying on the road, bleeding from the head does seem to suggest that he was either not wearing a helmet, or he was wearing it in such a way that the helmet did not protect his head.

If a motorcyclist gets hit head-on by a truck (the police report states that the front of the bike was extensively damaged), or even a car, then bleeding from the head is guaranteed, full-face helmet worn correctly or not. Full-face helmets worn correctly do not protect a motorcyclist being hit head on, they are only supposed to protect you when you hit the road.

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KaptainKichigai, there is absolutely no way that, according to your eyewitness experience, 99% of drivers in Japan break the road laws. Absolutely no way. There would be hundreds of fatalities every week and thousands of injuries every week. The road network and the emergency services would ground to a halt. Your stats are based on personal grievances and are hysterical. It is also the reason why you and others here have been disrespecting the memory of a deceased man, killed in a hit and run, when you have not one ounce of evidence to blame the death on the deceased.

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@northlondon at 08:07 PM JST - 1st November

I think you should check the statistics Japan has a disproportionate amount of road fatalities in comparison to other developed nations.

Now I don't know just where or how this man was hit or how he was dressed but I can tell you through personal knowledge that a helmet (even the best and properly worn) will only protect you so far and I have seen massive head injuries including bleeding even when wearing a top of the line full face.

Two things come to mind here the first is Japan's lacks laws in regard to helmets, the law stipulates you must wear a helmet but it doesn't regulate what kind of helmet so a construction helmet is just as acceptable a as full face DOT 3.

I other countries the helmet regulations vary from from DOT 1 to DOT 3 depending on the type of bike you are riding.

Now the other thing is where in Adachi-ku I drive there a lot and often late night and if it was anywhere on Nikko-Kaido route #4 then I can tell you all that this is a very dangerous place, I have had more close calls than I like to remember even when you have a turn signal you need to wait to make sure the cars coming in the opposite direction is actually going to stop because 8 time of of 10 late night they just keep going right on through the red light.

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I have a possiblity - Maybe the guy riding the motorcycle feel asleep while riding ? maybe he was fatigued ?

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I ride a bike, thoug>I think you should check the statistics Japan has a disproportionate amount of road fatalities in comparison to other developed nations.

This is no surprise when you have driven, and especially ridden a motorbike in Japan - Its pretty hairy out there! I remember the policeman who, when giving me my licence, warned me to be careful as its so dangerous out there. h I am about to sell it for numerous reasons, one being the constant stress of the near death experiences. These turn me into "angry gaijin" as I castigate errant drivers; and I don`t want to be "angry gaijin" anymore.

Disillusioned and Kaptainchigai are right on the money with their observation based speculation, and I think it is a case of those who dont drive here, dont really notice what goes on. I would concur with them that in all likeliness, the rider wasnt securely wearing his helmet, or it was one of those "piss pot" types that doesnt cover much of the head at all. Of course, the discussion is academic as we dont know the full facts of this incident, and even with an adeqaute helmet, he may have died anyway. That said, Japanese scooter riders do themselves no favours with their attitude to riding. In Japan, you can ride a scooter if you hold a car driving licence; Im sorry, but riding on 4 wheels in a big metal cage, is very, very different to riding on 2 wheels with no protection other than your wits. Those scooter riders know next to nothing about the physical dynamics of their vehicle, and absolutely nothing about defensive, and therefore safe, riding. Factor in the litany of minor to major traffic violations, that can be witnessed umpteen times a day, and its a recipe for whats quoted at the top of this post.

Personally, I feel the police are far more to blame than the drivers for not policing and enforcing the traffic laws (police should not need to warn me about riding, they should be making it safer for me to ride!!!). People don`t follows rules by just having them; they need to be enforced or they WILL be flouted, as we can see any number of times each day. Surely for the police it would be like shooting fish in a barrel - just stand outside the Koban and you could ticket enough people using their keitai whilst driving, watching TV whilst driving, not using indicators, illegal stopping, etc to keep the whole Koban busy all day. Something is seriously wrong when people feel such little fear of being ticketed that they will use a keitai in a car whilst driving by a Koban.

To Northlondon, I appreciate that you may feel others are heartless, but try riding/driving here... "Walk a mile in a man` shoes..."

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I drive in Japan almost everyday, and almost everyday these idiots on their motorcycles go a break neck speeds, weaving in and out of traffic, and I am not talking about the bosozoku gang types, just fools who are in a hurry and think that speed limits and common sense do not apply if you are on a motorcyle, they do, and just the other day around Mitaka some idiot passed my car in his bike, and I told my son, see that bike, at that speed and in this traffic he can really get hurt or die, 2 minutes later all traffic came to a halt, that fool who had been speeding on his bike rammed into the back of a little van trying to make a u-turn. I have no idea how this guy ended up getting killed but I can tell you all that many many folk on motorcyles just get to excited and forget about simple physics, no need to be an Einstein go too fast, crash into something or something crashes into you, you are dead or wish you were dead because you will be in wheel chair or worse the rest of your life, anyway, RIP dead guy in Adachi hit and run.

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Sorry, the "I ride a bike thoug" should be half way through the 2nd paragraph... Slipped with the mouse.

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First of all a young man died. My deepest sympathy to the family. Second, all here know of the horrors of getting into an accident here. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. It is the sick reason why people run here. Third, speculation and opinions are like @ssholes...everybody got one and they all stink.

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Thank you cleo. Some actual facts rather than all the assumptions and speculation surrounding the sad death of a 28 year old. It would be really interesting to discover the nationalities of the posters here claiming that Japan has roads of death, for which they base their unfounded conclusions to this fatality. As I already said, the chances are that this motorcyclist was riding perfectly with the right protection and was killed by a hit and run driver. Instead of all this disrespectful gossip.

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In the news they report that the Police have arrested the head of a kick-boxing gym. He and three others drove another three km and then abandoned the car and ran off. His older sister phoned the cops to say that he appeared to have been in a hit-and-run. There is a suspicion that alcohol was involved. The 'minibike' and the car came together at a junction, and the car is shown with a large dent in the driver's door.

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cleo:"According to nationmaster, Japan is #26 in car collision fatalities per capita"

Yes and according to several other reports including one released 2 years ago by an Osaka University researcher Japan's numbers are consistently false seeing Japan only counts fatalities within a certain number of days after an accident.

This report was in the Yomiuri and basically said that if the person dies of his or her injuries later the official statistics only count this person as an injury and not a fatality, now at the time of this Osaka U, research the time for a road death to be counted was 24 hrs but I heard ( cannot find confirmation) that it has been changed, some have said it is now 48 hrs others have said it is a week. (according to the researcher most other countries count all deaths due to injuries up to a years after an accident)

Now it seems that the insurance system uses the same method, about 4 years ago the elderly mother of one of my neighbors was hit and killed by a car (she was crossing at an intersection) she never regained consciousness and died 4 months later her death was recorded as "complications due to illness" and the insurance company refused to paid the amount for "violent or accidental" death based on this.

I do not know if the driver was charged for her death but as several article has said over the years it is a sort of grey area in the law and some are and some aren't because according to the prosecutors the driver can argue the death may have been due to previous poor health and not just the injuries.

Now I drive just about everyday and have for most of my 19+ years here in Japan and I even have a gold license, I am extra cautious and I have still been hit 4 times, all rear enders 3 by taxis and all when I was fully stopped at a red light now imagine had I been on a bike and not in a car on those occasions!

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For KaptainKichigai and all the others who made up false stories surrounding the motorcyclist, go and read the crime section in todays news with more information on this (confirmed as a hit and run with the suspect out drinking all night).

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