crime

Woman arrested over fatal accident says she was looking at her parakeet

25 Comments

A 50-year-old woman who has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in death told police that she was momentarily distracted by looking at her parakeet which was in a cage on the front passenger seat.

The accident occurred at around 1:30 p.m. on Monday on a street in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, Sankei Shimbun reported. According to police, Kyoko Funato was driving along when she crossed the center line and slammed into two bicycles, killing a 39-year-old woman on one bike, and a 3-year-old boy riding with his 29-year-old mother on another bike. The mother suffered a broken leg.

Funato told police she was distracted by her pet bird and lost control of the steering wheel for a few seconds. She said she had been taking the bird to a vet.

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25 Comments
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Parakeet more excusable than a mobile phone, but a perfect tragedy nevertheless.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

I've been driving for a number of decades, the first few of which were in NYC, and the last few of which before moving here were in the SF Bay area. And, I can say without a doubt that driving in Japan requires far more concentration than those places, even though there are lower speed limits and less traffic congestion here.

The extremely narrow roads, twists and turns, voluminous hills, lack of sidewalks, poor signage, utility poles in the road (wtf is with that?), oddly placed traffic signals, crazy bicyclists, etc require constant and full attention to avoid hitting person, bicycle, vehicle, utility pole, guardrail, wall, street sign, etc.

If she needed to attend to her pet while driving she should have pulled over or stopped.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Tragic. “Condolences” offered to the surviving families.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

So many accidents in Japan due to distractions from the concentration need to drive here. - Recently renewed (again) and 90% of the mandatory, ‘sit-thru-with-full-attention’ seminar was about paying attention to the road, traffic. and most important, pedestrians & cyclists.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

pathetic reason given to kill others.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Talking to her budgie? How apt. This woman is utterly bird-brained.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I totally agree with garypen. Having driven in a number of cities worldwide, I can attest to the difficulty of driving in safety Japan. It’s mostly citizens not paying attention to what they’re doing or where they are.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I had to check that "looking at a parakeet" wasn't a euphemism. It isn't. Its just a really stupid thing to do while driving.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Woman arrested over fatal accident says she was looking at her parakeet

I had expected "smartphone", but a parakeet is just as much as non-excuse.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

So many accidents in Japan due to distractions from the concentration need to drive here. - Recently renewed (again) and 90% of the mandatory, ‘sit-thru-with-full-attention’ seminar was about paying attention to the road, traffic. and most important, pedestrians & cyclists.

Which means you were in the "blue" license category because there is nothing of that type of seminar for "gold" license holders.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

 It’s mostly citizens not paying attention to what they’re doing or where they are.

Here's the thing though, they think they are paying attention, to everything other than driving, which many seem to think is all well and good, until they get nailed and then make excuses.

Annoying as freaking hell!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That’s why they have rules anywhere else, putting children and pets fixed or belted into the backseats etc.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is heartbreaking. I can imagine the bird flipping out and flapping around the cage and the woman getting distracted with such tragic results.

This is a tragedy for everyone involved and their families.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Does this person knows, that she had taken the lives of 3 human beings???.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It was an accident. No need to tag her as if she intended the victims to die.

This should serve as a lesson to everybody using the road, not just drivers.

Lines, pedestrian lanes, and stop lights are not safety barriers. They won't stop a speeding 2-ton chuck of speeding metals.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

According the news she ended on the opposite of the road where she hit the elderly woman and than ended on the sidewalk hitting the mother and son.

I drive a lot in Japan but i noticed i need all my eyes on the road here. As some mentioned, it is asking concentration.

People need to pay attention because just a few seconds of not paying attention can end up killing someone.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Justasking: "It was an accident"....

No it was definitely not an accident - this was the wilful negligence of an extremely stupid selfish imbecile, and they should throw the book at her.

What on earth was she thinking about, messing around with her pet-bird, when she should have been concentrating 100% on negotiating the road, traffic, other road-users, pedestrians.

The chance of life for these 3 extremely unfortunate people has been snuffed out, it's unbelievable.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Distracted by a parakeet??! That's a new one; I must say. So now that its owner is going to be in a cage herself, who's going to look after it?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

nandakandamanda: "Parakeet more excusable than a mobile phone"

How so? Not paying attention is not paying attention. Period. Doesn't matter what the reason. If the bird was causing a fuss or she was concerned, she should have pulled over and checked it then. So, I'm sorry, it's not one ounce more excusable than a mobile phone... and I love parakeets.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

purple_depressed_bacon

Distracted by a parakeet??! That's a new one; I must say. So now that its owner is going to be in a cage herself, who's going to look after it?

Well, if they are nice they let her keep her parakeet in jail.... not that it makes a difference for the bird, who is imprisoned anyway.

Still, parakeet or smartphone or newspaper.... is is so hard to understand that a car is a lethal weapon and you never take the eyes off the road.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Looks like the Pareto is free and now she will be a cage jail bird.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A driver should pay attention on the road not in anything.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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