The Chiba District Court on Friday sentenced a 61-year-old man to 14 years in prison for dangerous driving resulting in death and injury after the truck he was driving plowed into a group of schoolchildren, killing two of them and injuring three others in Yachimata, Chiba Prefecture, last year.
During his trial, Hiroshi Umezawa pleaded guilty and admitted that he had consumed a 220-milliliter bottle of shochu 30 minutes before the accident at a truck rest area on June 28, 2021, Fuji TV reported. Alcohol in excess of the legal limit was detected when Umezawa was given a breathalyzer test, prosecutors said.
The accident occurred at around 3:30 p.m. while the children were on their way home from school. Witnesses said Umezawa’s truck crashed into the group of four boys and a girl after hitting a utility pole when he suddenly swerved to the left, Kyodo News reported. The children were aged between 6 and 10. Two of the boys, aged 7 and 8, died later in hospital.
At the time, Umezawa was working for a Yachimata transport company and had been on duty since 6 a.m. that morning.
During the subsequent investigation, Umezawa’s co-workers said he had been drinking alcohol while on duty for the past five years and that they had repeatedly warned him against it.© Japan Today