crime

2 killed after 74-yr-old disabled man drives car into Osaka restaurant

48 Comments

Two people were killed and another injured when a 74-year-old man drove his car into a restaurant in Osaka's Minato Ward on Monday. According to police, Masayuki Tsuda drove his car out of his garage at about 1.40 p.m. Monday, turned left and plowed straight into the Chisoya Iyo restaurant on the corner about 10 meters from his house.

A 60-year-old man inside the restaurant was killed by the impact, and another man was injured. Police said Tsuda then reversed his car out of the restaurant, hitting a 71-year-old woman on her bicycle, who later died in hospital. After hitting the woman, Tsuda then drove his car forward and hit a van parked outside the restaurant, where his car remained.

Tsuda told police he panicked and mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake. Police arrested Tsuda at the scene but have since upgraded the charge to vehicular manslaughter.

Police said Tsuda’s right leg was paralyzed and his car was modified so that he could apply the accelerator and the brake with his left leg only, and that the accelerator was to the left of the brake. They also said Tsuda was on his way to renew his special parking permit for the disabled when the accident occurred.

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48 Comments
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Excuse me sir, drive through is on the OTHER side of the parking lot :-)

Moderator: Readers, this is a tragic story. Please refrain from making inappropriate remarks.

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They also said Tsuda was on his way to renew his special parking permit for the disabled when the accident occurred.

how Ironic considering how he ended up parking his car.

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74 years old and disabled. Just maybe this chap should not have been driving in the first place? Moreover, I cannot see him getting a new permit after this, but then again, this is Japan......

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He'll see the last of his days out in jail, I'd say.

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saborichan - Doubt it. Suspended sentence due to his age, and new driving permit to be issued shortly after.

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Crazy. So once he had killed the first person, he then reversed into the second victim and killed her. A bad day for all concerned.

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Granted, justice must be seen to be done, but i don't think prison time is in the public interest for this fella. I'm sure unless he's lost his marbles, that he is full of remorse like.

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I knew a girl who hit four cars the first time she reversed out of her driveway with her learners permit. I can see how an idiotic accident could spin out of control and reach the realm of ludicrous. I feel sorry for the people who died, but I also feel sorry for him. He will have to live with what he's done. Bad day indeed.

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Prepare for 50 years more of this kind of thing. Especially with a population as aged as this one.

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Well driving into a restaurant is an accident for sure and reversing etc is an accident for sure but I would not mind $1 for every time some Japanese has walked directly behind me while parking my car and have often wondered how many of these people have been run over because of doing that, I am sure its more prevalent in Japan. Just like crossing the road with out looking at all. Is this my imagination?

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Police arrested Tsuda at the scene but have since upgraded the charge to vehicular manslaughter.

And how exactly would jailing a 74-year old disabled man undo or repair any of what has happened? Would it really send a signal to all of those other 74-year old disabled people who might potentially drive into a restaurant due to incompetence? This is a failure of his family, assuming he has one, who hasn't taken away his keys!

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Police said Tsuda’s right leg was paralyzed and his car was modified so that he could apply the accelerator and the brake with his left leg only, and that the accelerator was to the left of the brake.

Sounds like a really, really bad idea. Why not move both to the left rather than switch the order? Or give him an accelerator on the steering column like other handicapped people have?

And people feel it necessary to crack down on people who have one lousy beer and drive! Meanwhile, grandpa legally drives mirror-image mobile. Not a chance he could get confused.

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Telecasterplayer,

It won't undo anything but he broke at least a few laws and lawbreakers are usually punished (politicians and mothers who kill their own children excepted).

I think driver training schools should emphasize that when you hit something, you stop. Don't try to move the car. Don't push any pedals. Just stop. If he had learned this, one woman would be alive today.

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right leg paralysed and he had a accelerator to the left of the brake??? thats sounds like recipe for disaster especially with an old man with a likely senile mind letting his mind slip and forgetting momentarily his jerryrigged system. How ironic that his car gave him his freedom in the past yet now the very same car has taken it away.

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My question is, how could you ride a bike behind a car that just went passed you into a building, is still gunning the engine and not under control?

I mean come on! You would not stop and look in disbelief?

Then again as others have pointed out, "This is Japan"

Yes, I do know she was 71.

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The blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the society that let him have the "privilege" of operating a motor vehicle in the first place. One can only speculate when he was last tested to drive a car. Meiji Era perhaps?

S

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How many people ram into restaurants then immediately back out to try again? Both victims weren't doing anything pointedly stupid. They were just going about their business when this accident occurred. It was an accident. Preventable, yes, but an accident nonetheless.

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The public transportation system in Osaka is great. Why would anyone with diminishing driving abilities still choose/be allowed to drive? It's sad for all involved.

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Elderly people over 70 years old often seem to have some kind of physical problems to drive car. Some elderly people (but not all) drive on the wrong side of highway or they are sometimes unconscious / fall in sleep while driving or they lose dircetion easily to entrance/exit. Most seem to be slightly dementia as they are not sure what they are doing.

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one more thing: please tell me he was 100% sober and not on dangerous meds at the time. If if turns out there were such influences then I hope he gets crucified....

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old people and cars, not a good combination. This reminds me of the terrible carnage in the US recently when an ancient guy killed 8 or so people by running them over. Maybe a simple driving test is needed after 65.

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Age or disability not neccesarily the issue here. Plenty of people I see driving here are capable of this type of "mishap". Taxi driver, possibly?

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one more thing: please tell me he was 100% sober and not on dangerous meds at the time.

Worse. He was driving under the influence of large amounts of oldness.

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Telecasterplayer: You make a good point, but the fact of the matter remains that it's as much the fault of society as it is his family, if at all. I am not able to say 74 year old people should not be able to drive -- if they can pass all the requisite tests, why shouldn't they be allowed to? I mean, most of the 'I mistook the accelerator for the break' comments are by young people who were emailing while driving and/or were drunk. But a person that age with a paralyzed leg? Hmmm...

Anyway, he broke the laws, and people died. It's clear it was an accident, and while I'm sure he'll do time if the families of the deceased and the restaurant/van owners are okay strictly with compensation money, perhaps an arrangement for little or no jail time can be made. Unfortunately, he has to pay the piper somehow.

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He should have pulled hard on the handbrake, unless it was a foot-stomper type.

wontond. Why did he not take public transport? Hmmm... From the article we can guess that he was taking the car to the test centre/center, where they would evaluate both him and the set-up of the car before issuing this special parking permit.

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I guess he won't be needing that "special parking permit" anymore!

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He was old, disabled, and had a "special parking permit" (and probably the "elderly driver" orange and yellow magnet on his car). No charges will be filed. In fact, he will likely receive compensation from the Restaurant for being unable to get out of his way.

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Bet anybody a nickel that the Betty who was killed on her bike actually was riding by, saw the accident, and then stopped to gawk right behind his car. See these gawkers a lot here when accidents/incidents happen. Everyone wants to watch the carnage - no one wants to help.

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what a bizzare incident

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i wish they initiate a test for people of a certain age to test sight, reaction speed and such.

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Sounds like he was driving like every jiichan/baachan does out here in Gunma.

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Japan had better get used to this sort of thing. It's only going to get worse in the years to come.

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See these gawkers a lot here when accidents/incidents happen. Everyone wants to watch the carnage - no one wants to help.

Ah actually, there are gawkers all over the world. It isn't a Japanese thing.

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Old person + car license = DANGER. A generalization that is too often true.

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Elderly people should have eyes testing before they get permit to drive. Many countries had adapted this and it is working. Doesn't Japan have such ACT? Further on serious disabled driver shouldn't be driving car at all. Mind you elderly people are not 'HOONS' and they don't intend to harm others. You all have to look both ways. What you call: 'Old people' are from generations before you, if wasn't for them you wouldn't be walking on your soil. Some respect please for elderly. Accident could happen to anyone. 'YOUNG PEOPLE+DRIVERS LICENSE+ALCOHOL+DRUGS+HOONS = DISASTER.

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No one will argue that elderly folks should not be allowed to drive, if competent. But just like having to reach a certain age BEFORE driving perhaps we should agree on an age at which we STOP driving?

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Calling an elderly person as "OLD" is discrimination against humanity. The as you call 'US Black President' were he should be called first 'African American President.' We are now in civilized age not back in Stone Age. Here is a mistake made by one disabled driver and the whole lots of comments are against aged person. Respect should be shown towards elderly instead being called with all sorts of expressions. Yes I agree perhaps age should be imposed for elderly drivers.

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"This is a failure of his family, assuming he has one, who hasn't taken away his keys!"

"The blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the society that let him have the "privilege" of operating a motor vehicle in the first place."

Woah, discrimination much? Now, discrimination because he is old or because he is disabled? Maybe both. I can see why japan is such a country, when people who think like that out there. It was an accident, sadly it was an old and disabled person but could have been a 20 year old person too.

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BBLeo

It is a proven fact that people's reflexes begin deteriorating at a certain age. My mother in-law recently stopped driving because of this - she is 62. Assuming that a 74 year-old man is a similar case is NOT discrimination, it's logical.

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It seems this old man had a way too powerful car. He was not able any more to handle it. Maybe he should have changed to a model with lower power engine or even a K-car. Then the damage would have been smaller. Yes, this old man made a choice. He enjoyed his powerful car. Up to this one sad moment he lost control.

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How many times in the last five years has this old duffer fobbed off the people who expressed concern for him?

"Don't worry about me, I'm a perfectly safe driver. I've been driving since before your father was even BORN, he can't tell me about driving..."

Now two people are dead and we're supposed to feel sorry for him? Ifhe'd been 25 and made the same mistake, they'd be baying for his blood.

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Jail the idiot who "designed " the "solution" to put the accelerator to the left of the brake(stupid beyond belief).

The dolt "designer" shud have moved the break to the left, & left the accelerator to the right of the brake,............

Now we just have a tragedy, the issue of old folks driving is separate from this stupid design decision imo, ok my guess.

Sad all round & going to be more of these before long!

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over 65 drivers yearly test for licence renewal. over 75 drivers licence revoked. if some kind of legislation like this isn't introduced quickly this problem is going to become a lot worse in the next 2 decades

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buddha4brains at 04:38 PM JST - 27th January See these gawkers a lot here when accidents/incidents happen. Everyone wants to watch the carnage - no one wants to help. Ah actually, there are gawkers all over the world. It isn't a Japanese thing.

Did I say it was a "Japanese thing?" Thought not - apologist.

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Police arrested Tsuda at the scene but have since upgraded the charge to vehicular manslaughter.

Is this the only thing he will be charged with?

After hitting the woman, Tsuda then drove his car forward and hit a van parked outside the restaurant,

From the story, He was also trying to escape from the scene but luckily hit a van on the way out of the resturant.

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How many times have had these "mistook accelerator for brake" accidents now, and not only in Japan?

This never used to happen with manual cars. Simple: If you panic and push two pedal, one of them is going to stop or disconnect the drive.

Ergo: Senile folks should not be allowed to drive automatic cars, period. The design, while convenient, is a accident waiting to happen.

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The questions being raised about whether these people shouldn't drive aren't being asked because they're ageist or anti-disabled it's because it WASN'T 'a normal accident'. The guy plowed into a restaurant (accident) but then didn't have the faculties to deal with the situation properly. Instead of getting out or just sitting there waiting for assistance he then reversed into a cyclist (lack of observation) & then changed gear again to career into a van. That's some maneuvering! The answers lie in designing cars for people that will do far less damage & better checks on driving ability.

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I agree with mellow0, perhaps they can make cars for old folks that made out of rubber?

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