crime

Truck driver arrested after rear-ending vehicle, killing 9-year-old boy

22 Comments

Police in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, said Monday they have arrested a man after the truck he was driving rear-ended a mini-van, killing a 9-year-old boy.

The incident occurred at about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, NTV reported. The mini-van was carrying four adults and three children. The 9-year-old boy was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. The other six occupants of the mini-van suffered light injuries, police said.

The 45-year-old driver was quoted as saying he took his eyes off the road for a second just before the accident happened. Police said he will be charged with dangerous driving result in death and injuries, NTV reported.

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22 Comments
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Careless drivers are not driving their vehicle, they're aiming it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'll bet anything the boy was not wearing a seatbelt. And if so, the parents should also be charged with neglegience.

S

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I'll bet anything the boy was not wearing a seatbelt. And if so, the parents should also be charged with neglegience.

I agree...I still see cars with loads of kids not wearing seatbelts on the road ...pure ignorance

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Same here. I always, always see kids without a seatbelt, you can give the thumbs down if you want, but it's true and if you object to that, please elaborate. Too many kids needlessly die because of this ignorance. Babies sitting in the front seat in a child's seat or bouncing on the seats without a seatbelt. As Mirai and Spidey said, total ignorance and parents should be charged, period!

As far as the truck drivers are concerned, again, Crazy makes an excellent point. Drivers more than often in Japan, just aim their vehicles, especially truck drivers. They drive these 2 ton trucks racing the streets like Louis Hamilton! Most don't even know what a break is. There should be system like in the states, trucks have a phone number on the back and you can call their employer and make a complaint if you see them driving irresponsibly . Their licenses should be revoked if that is the case. This is getting worse on both sides. The laws here are way too relaxed. Japan toughened their drinking laws years ago and it has worked at cutting down on the DUI, a big dent in it, but Truck drivers and irresponsible and negligent parents, still have a long way to go. When will people learn?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

JT, when posting such news, the first thing to investigate is if the victim was wearing the belt. I will bet anything that he wasn't. In this case, the parents/supervisors, share a bigger part of the guilt than the truck driver.

Anyone can be distracted for a second and cause an accident, but letting kids drive without belts is both negligent and stupid.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

don't like how the JT posters try to pin the blame on the parents, the truck driver is the culprit, i don't even know if rear seatbelts are legally enforced. Don't see any posters at the koban informing of this.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Japanese truck drivers change lanes and speed like they are in a go-cart, police need to crack down on these loons

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I agree that in this tragic incident, the focus should not be if the the child was wearing a seat belt or not. Had this truck driver not been reckless, the child wearing/not wearing a seat belt would be moot.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Speculation on seat belts is just that but many TDs more do thsn car drivers do speed through red lights on pedestrian crossing only to stop at the next set of lights I know there are cameras but seems nobody (J cops) watching or cares. RIP

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Dennis

i don't even know if rear seatbelts are legally enforced.

No relevant - anyone in their right mind would use them on their kids. Anyone not in their right mind should not drive.

Don't see any posters at the koban informing of this.

AGAIN not relevant. So let's all drive without them then? Parents, sitting in front would wear the belts while not forcing the kids to wear one, hugely selfish and so idiotic.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

No relevant - anyone in their right mind would use them on their kids. Anyone not in their right mind should not drive.

AGAIN not relevant. So let's all drive without them then? Parents, sitting in front would wear the belts while not forcing the kids to wear one, hugely selfish and so idiotic.

Some people here want to purely put the blame on the truck driver, but in general, this is a bigger problem, so why is it that people don't want to confront the facts. Many parents are totally negligent when it comes to strapping their kids in properly. But I agree, either don't drive or lock them in. It's never OK to get let the kids jump around on the from seat or do you think riding a motorcycle without a helmet is Ok as well.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This article is rubbish to provide the minimal information in order to have any idea of what happened :

speed? seatbelts? reason for dying?(break of neck, direct injuries or projection inside screenshield...) vehicles location&conditions (simple lane, cityroad, obstacles, other vehicles, crossroad, road/ car lights...)

In France, no such low quality article would ever be published. Too critical consequences of quick judgement. RIP little boy

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

he took his eyes off the road for a second

A second? What exactly was he doing? Texting, reading a newspaper/manga mag, shaving, checking his make up?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ebisen - Japanese news NEVER investigates whether a child was in a childseat/booster or strapped in. I wish they did.

The truck driver is at fault for rear-ending. But the driver of the mini-van should be liable too if not everyone in the car was wearing a seatbelt. It is the law even though it's not enforced.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ebisen @ alexander In Japan kids under 6 are supposed to be buckled up regardless of there seat position! Thats law! And we have one more law for the rear end driver to maintain safe distance in case of sudden brakes! Now in this case by law, regardless of child was in the child-seat or not, driver is 100% responsible for the the accident and death of the kid! And for all the parents bashers here, kids unbuckle themselves when then are 4 or 5 years old while the parents are driving on front seats... are they supposed to stop every 100 meters to buckle again?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@ waxman - Maybe you didn't read my post correctly but I already know it's the law. Oh wait, I did type "It is the law..." And FYI, in Japan, EVERYONE in the car is supposed to be buckled. It doesn't matter how old you are or where you sit. If your ass is in the car, you're supposed to be strapped in.

I wasn't bashing the parents. I simple stated that it is the driver's responsiblity to ensure everyone is safe in the car. I have two kids and they know better than to unbuckle themselves while the car is moving. If there are kids are unbuckling themselves while the car is moving, then that's a whole another issue we don't need to discuss here.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Lots of Japanese truckers drive pretty poorly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

as far as seat belts are concerned, I won't move the car or start the engine til the kids are strapped in. works well in summer, with no AC. As far as the truck drivers excuse, I believe it. I've taken my eye off the road for a second and could have been in trouble. scary. sad accident.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Ms Alexander There is a big difference between what law says and what u r supposed to do when your ass is in your car! I have three kids and I know what we are supposed to do when we are in car! Parents are sometimes helpless!!! But this accident would have been prevented if the the truch had maintained the safe distance which most drivers dont do ending up in such sad accident!

But we both agree that truck driver is at fault for rear ending!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All it takes is a second for something to happen. Two days ago, here in Yamaguchi, two 17 year old boys were killed by a truck driver. Neither of the boys were wearing a crash helmet, and it was at about 4:30 in the morning, when they decided to go out on their scooter. It's believed they ignored the red light and swung into the path of the oncoming truck.

The thing is, the truck driver in this case was also arrested for negligent driving.

I am not saying the driver in Kawaguchi is not at fault, but Japanese police are quick to assume and make arrests based on circumstantial evidence. So it begs the question: where do you draw the line on who is wrong and who is right, especially in a country that puts you at fault just for being on the road!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ps) The driver of the car involved in the Kawaguchi case, should be charged with negligent driving also if they did not ensure that the child was wearing a seatbelt. It's high time Japan made this a very strict policy - it annoys me no end when I see kids jumping around inside the car or standing in the front passenger footwell!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Desillusioned

he took his eyes off the road for a second

A second? What exactly was he doing? Texting, reading a newspaper/manga mag, shaving, checking his make up?

Sometimes you're distracted, you have a life of your own and problems... you can't be focused ALL the time... actually when you sneeze you close your eyes and -take the eyes off the road for just a second-. I think it was just an accident, no-one's fault. (Perhaps the parents and the seatbelt negligence..) Anyway, we weren't really there to judge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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