Japan Today
crime

Truck driver arrested over hit-and-run death of 7-year-old girl

34 Comments

Police in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, said Saturday they have arrested a 61-year-old truck driver over the hit-and-run death of a 7-year-old girl.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 4 p.m. last Thursday. The girl, Yui Fujita, was hit by a truck as she walked across the street at an intersection, Fuji TV reported. She was taken to hospital with severe injuries and died later that night.

A truck, which matched a witness' description, was seen outside a convenience store shortly after the incident. The driver, Osamu Akaishi, a construction worker, was detained by police and on Friday, was charged with reckless driving resulting in death.

Akaishi was quoted by police as saying he was driving in the area at the time but has no recollection of hitting anybody.

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34 Comments
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I hope the family can heal, glad they got him.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

...but has no recollection of hitting anybody.

Nonsense.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Speed - but has no recollection of hitting anybody.

It's quite possible he didn't notice hitting the girl because he was otherwise occupied texting, reading a newspaper or watching TV.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Considering I see trucks and other cars going over red, because they can't break in time, because they're already way over the speed limit, at least once a week, I am not surprised. And not to mention the place where I see this is a school road.

Drivers in Japan are surprisingly reckless, and many don't follow the rules at all. Until the police steps up their game with speed traps and cameras at traffic lights, I fear that this poor girl is just one victim in a line of many caused by ignorance of the traffic laws.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

A large percentage of truck drivers in Japan are nothing more than animals.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This is weak, there are so many trucks that look alike in Japan, someone said that looks like it and you get arrested. I hope they catch the person but it is seriously circumstantial for this driver and if not the right guy has had his life destroyed.

Perhaps JT didn't report enough info but they better do some sort of DNA analysis on the truck to make sure it was that driver.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"Has no recollection..."

Wel, give him a lifetime in prison to recollect. And why is he not also being charged for fleeing the scene? I sense another Japanese bell-jar judgement in the works here (maybe 1-2 years tops).

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Considering I see trucks and other cars going over red, because they can't break in time,"

Coffee break?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So nice how JT posters always crucify having little to no information about the story. Was it a green light for the truck? Did the little girl cross on a red? Was there even a light? Was the little girl looking at her phone and not the street (yes, some 7 year olds have phones). Instead of instantly judging the driver as an "animal", how about just expressing g sympathy for all involved and wait for more details before deciding the driver's guilt.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Watching the television news reports the accident occurred at a 'typical' Japanese intersection where road traffic can turn left and right at the same time that pedestrians cross the street ‘on the green man”. I don’t know if the driver was turning or going straight but crossings like this don’t offer any margin for error and he clearly wasn’t paying attention. Would it inconvenience road users so much to have ‘staggered’ signals so pedestrians could cross in complete safety?

BTW according to NPA monthly statistics another ten people were killed in RTAs across Japan on the same day.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

JohnnyDesu: despite all your objections to people not sympathizing with the guy, in your questions about what may or may not be you left out what is: he hit and killed a girl, fled the scene, and did he turn himself in saying he fled because he panicked? Nope... he was caught after being identified and said "I don't recall." So, go ahead and do exactly what you rail against towards those who dont pity the guy; you don't need to wait for more news to know he fled the scene of an acciddent and did not turn himself in. The rest of us are actually lamenting the loss of life and seeking justice.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Smithinjapan

I'm not saying you have to sympathize with him, but you should wait to condemn him without having all the facts. Truck, 7 year old girl, where and how was she hit? Front on, sideswiped her, he may not have seen her as her she was being hit. What size was the truck? Big enough that hitting a small 7 year old body would be unnoticed? Being picked up at a combini doesn't seem like he had known and was fleeing the scene. Would make more sense for him to go somewhere not so public to hide. Seek justice? Mob justice is never true justice, it's vengeance.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

And this just a few days after Japan Today reported 90% of drivers not stopping at pedestrian crossings and that Japan has a very high rate for pedestrians being hit at crossings.

Also one of the references I posted on that showed 7.6% of deaths are hit and runs like this.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm sure if this man hit the girl with his truck then there would be some physical evidence to quantify the charge.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

First time ever that I know first hand about a story in JT. The young girls mother is a lady have socialized with a bit before and less so after she got married and had her two kids. Yui was her youngest. Firstly the police founds marks on the left side of the truck that were consistent with a hit and run. Considering Yui had serious head trauma you can figure out what those smudges were. It was on a typical crossroad intersection controlled by lights and the truck had turned on the light at the same time Yui was legally walking straight across. The driver said he never saw the girl or even new he had hit here and likely that is the case. If he had seen the girl he wouldn't have jit her and a 4 ton truck is very heavy and the grisly facts are that running over a small light human would hardly make a bump or noise. We suspect the driver was negligent but not criminal in intent even after the accident. This has shaken our circle of friends to the core and deflated our spirits no amount. I grieve for my her parents and sister. this photo was so heartbreaking. http://amd.c.yimg.jp/im_siggYxmfYg3SONmeglphLVlPwA---x400-y266-q90/amd/20160930-30103903-webtoo-000-1-view.jpg you can see Yui's shool bag still on the corner placed there when the helicopter came on it's fruitless flight, she was brain dead before anyone got to her. Please be careful out there everyone.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Randomnator

So sorry for the grief that you and your circle must be feeling. Thank you for shedding some light and posting some facts about the situation.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Heartbreaking of course. I have a 7 year old girl and I have always considered very very dangerous crossroads in Japan. A little girl (or boy) cannot be seen most of the time easily. My kids learned to raise hands before crossing although they have yellow hats. Remember at that age in Japan kids go back on their own, alone! It would never have happened in many other countries as this age is considered too little. My wife and I are still fetching our youngest one girl for that reason... Just lack of luck. RIP Yui-chan

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is weak, there are so many trucks that look alike in Japan, someone said that looks like it and you get arrested. I hope they catch the person but it is seriously circumstantial for this driver and if not the right guy has had his life destroyed.

and there are many trucks that look different too with the company's logo, art and other accessories that may be attached. You can't judge an entire situation by an article with a brief summary.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think it makes people who have otherwise little control/power over their lives feel better, since they have someone/something they can feel better than.

I see you're speaking from experience again

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's Mutsu

It's Misawa the intersection is about 1.5kms from Misawa station. The 4ton truck was full of dirt for construction at the time, not too many of them around then.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"We suspect the driver was negligent but not criminal in intent even after the accident."

The difference between criminal intent and criminal negligence:

General definition: criminal negligence - (law) recklessly acting without reasonable caution and putting another person at risk of injury or death (or failing to do something with the same consequences)

Japanese Penal Code: Article 211  2 自動車の運転上必要な注意を怠り、よって人を死傷させた者は、七年以下の懲役若しくは禁錮又は百万円以下の罰金に処する。ただし、その傷害が軽いときは、情状により、その刑を免除することができる。 (2) A person who fails to exercise due care required in driving a vehicle and thereby causes the death or injury of another shall be punished by imprisonment with or without work for not more than 7 years or a fine of not more than 1,000,000 yen; provided, however, that the person may be exculpated in the light of circumstances if the injury is minor.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

well look at that, randomnator and educator60 point out what anyone with common sense understood after reading the story. The guilty driver has been identified and arrested.

End of story. But not the end of the bellyaching but the usual suspect(s) here on JT who need a 3 month investigation by Ben Matlock before they do the unthinkable and make a personal decision in life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Pepperman

The difference between criminal intent and criminal negligence:

what do you think intent means? The point was that most likely the run part of the crime was not an intentional act meant to prevent arrest. If it was why would he stop at a nearby convenience store and not try to cover up the tell tale signs the police used to confirm it was his truck?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JohnnyDesu: "Seek justice? Mob justice is never true justice, it's vengeance."

Mob justice would be tracking him down and hanging him. Obviously that is not what I was saying. You now know for a FACT that the girl was crossing legally, which means the truck driver was not paying attention if he did not see the girl. Do we have your permission to be angry at him now? or do you need more facts? I still hope he rots in prison; you might call that harsh and sympathize with the guy, thinking that the knowledge of what he's done is suffering enough, but given he killed a little girl via negligence it simply is NOT enough. The little girl is gone forever, taken by a careless driver. The family deserves our pity, not him.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Once again smithinjapan, you fail to see my point. You're original post asked, "why is he not being charged for fleeing the scene?" You automictically judged without having the facts, and that IS mob justice mentality. Go with the heart instead of the intellect. By all means, this driver should be held accountable for his actions. I never said pity the driver, I never said the driver was innocent. I said don't judge until you know the facts of a situation. Knee jerk reactions are to common and cause more harm than good. Don't worry, I'm sure that now that the facts have surfaced, you can sit high and mighty in your "I'm always right" chair and feel good about yourself.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Jonnydesu72 - We had the facts in the original story. An infant could put 2 and 2 together here and assume with great certainty that the driver knowingly drove away from the scene of the crime.

All it took was a bit of common sense and an ability to make a decision

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Clemenza - Have you not read the facts of the story? Or have you only based your entire judgement on the situation from the JT story? The driver was unaware that he had hit the girl, and was in no way knowingly driving away from the scene. That was the articles assumption, providing no proof to support that accusation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

jonnydesu72 - Everyone knows the facts and anyone who has spent 5 minutes in Japan know there are 2 cowardly lies that Japanese fall back on;

"I was drunk" or "I didn't realize" I had hit someone with my car/truck"

If you think for a second he didn't immediately realize he hit a girl with the front of his truck, you are either afraid to make a decision or very naive

Common sense and experience, my friend. Common sense and experience.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

An infant could put 2 and 2 together here and assume with great certainty that the driver knowingly drove away from the scene of the crime.

you obviously have never driven a laden 4ton truck.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

you obviously have never driven a laden 4ton truck.

don't need to. The cabs on these trucks are right there an inch away from the windshield.

He knew he hit the child in a crosswalk, he ran, and now he's doing the only thing he's got left; lying.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Randomator:

What do you think intent means?

You misunderstood my post which pointed out the difference between criminal intent and criminal negligence. Re-read the statute I quoted which is for negligence i.e. "fails to exercise due care".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Everyone lost that day. Very sad. My heart goes out to everyone. Be safe, folks. Drive slow. No need to rush - ever.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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