crime

Truck driver arrested after hitting group of school children, killing 9-year-old girl

19 Comments

A 61-year-old truck driver has been arrested after he hit a group of elementary school children in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, killing one 9-year-old girl and injuring two other children, aged 8 and 9.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday on a narrow street with no sidewalks. Fuji TV reported that the children were walking along the right side of the street when they were hit from the front by the small truck which then hit a power pole before stopping. The 9-year-old girl, Aina Endo, was pinned against the pole, police said.

The three children were taken to hospital. Endo fell into a coma and died Thursday afternoon, police said. Her two classmates are in a stable condition.

The truck driver, Hajime Matsumura, sustained neck and chest injuries. He was quoted by police as saying that one of the girls jumped out onto the road unexpectedly and that the accident was unavoidable, Fuji TV reported.

However, according to emergency medical personnel who arrived at the scene and went to assist the him, the driver said he had made a mistake with the gears.

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19 Comments
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Wish the other girls recover soon ... Same story of these old people ...

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The little girl died???... that is so sad, on the morning news they said she was severely wounded but alive...

horrible....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Damn, she didnt make it. Very sad.

"Girl jumped in front", "mistook the gears" .....pathetic excuses.....

on TV you could see the truck was on the most right side of the street parked against an electricity pole, so he was just clearly NOT paying attention to where he was driving.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Poor kids. You gotta pay attention at all times when driving, folks!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Its not that the jumping out and the mistake with gears could not happen at the same time. What throws doubt on the two stories is that he told paramedics about the gears but no the jumping out. One would think the girl jumping out would be the first thing he would say, so I seriously doubt his story.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

On a narrow street that little school kid use with no sidewalks? Should be closed to traffic during that time of day or traffic guards should be posted.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Doesn't matter if a kid unpredictably jumped out or not. It's 100% his fault for not slowing down on a narrow road full of (obviously unpredictable) and helpless kids.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

witnesses said the guy has been driving not in the middle of the road but on the edge of the road for sometime then he hit the kids, pinning one of them against an electricity pole...i think he is already trying to menace the people to move out faster but made a mistake

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He was probably reading the bloody newspaper. I've seen it too many times. These truck drivers drive with little or no regard for anybody else on the roads and incidents like this just prove it. He should have seen the group of kids and slowed down. My guess is, he was doing at least 40kph on a 20kph road that should have a speed limit of 10kph. Too many Japanese drivers are just cowboys that rush to get to the next red light.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Traffic road with no sidewalks. Yep, I got them in my Tokyo neighborhood, and they're an accident constantly waiting to happen.

The little kids walk walk along the shoulder every school day as cars and trucks rumble past with no barriers. The area was farm fields right after the war. Why didn't they lay out proper roads when the area was being developed for houses?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Watching the TV news, there are signs warning drivers. Seems like the guy is trying to backtrack on what exactly happened.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

RIP Aina-chan. I hope the police start going out on patrol more and making drivers more aware of their countless dangerous actions.

Jack Stern

On a narrow street that little school kid use with no sidewalks? Should be closed to traffic during that time of day or traffic guards should be posted.

I agree with your sentiment, but unfortunately their are very few sidewalks and all too many narrow roads in Japan.

I fear for my life every day because I walk about 60-minutes a day in total among such streets and I kid you not every 3 minutes I am faced with someone running a stop sign/red light, turning in or going out of a driveway without noticing me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am sure the truck driver feels terrible about this. But I see no reason wil assigning blame. It is a terrible tragedy and accidents do happen. BTW< teenagers have more accidents than "old people".

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I wonder if the driver switched between manual gear and automatic gear driving much. It might be that he was operating in an "automatic" mindset and stepped on the clutch instead of the brake, then just panicked instead of thinking. Or he might have fallen asleep, or he might have been looking at his cell phone or navi. Anyway, with eyewitnesses and survivors, it is going to be more difficult than usual to dismiss this as another case of irresponsible pedestrians / bicyclists.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A lot of these neighbourhood roads are just accidents waiting to happen. I lived in the shitamachi" part of Tokyo for four years and the number of drivers / motorcyclists that would just speed through crossings without slowing down to check the ridiculously perpendicular corners was feightening. No footpaths of course - and power poles sticking out as much as a 1m from the kerb! Also had a number of minor collisions just minding my own business as the notoriously wagamama mama-sans sped around corners on their loaded mamacharis*.

Just so dangerous...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am sure the truck driver feels terrible about this. But I see no reason wil assigning blame. It is a terrible tragedy and accidents do happen. BTW< teenagers have more accidents than "old people".

Yeah, so terrible that he lied to cover his own ass. Read Erbavivas comment - there were witnesses showing he didnt give the kids any room at all. And now one is dead because he drove like a dick.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

BTW< teenagers have more accidents than "old people".

Yes, but there are just so many old people in Japan! And a lot of them are drivers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'll guarantee you that he was on his cell/smart phone.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Most Japanese truck drivers are careless, & old aged...idiots! RIP young angel! Sad indeed!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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