Woman cyclist dies after being hit by car; driver arrested


Police in Okayama city, Okayama Prefecture, on Thursday arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of dangerous driving resulting in death after the car he was driving hit a 35-year-old woman riding a bicycle. The woman died later in hospital.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 12:10 a.m. Thursday at an intersection. Local media reported that Sakura Harada was riding her bike on a crossing when she was hit from the side by a vehicle driven by Naoki Maehara, a company employee.

Harada was taken to hospital where she died about one hour later due to severe head injuries, police said.

Police said Maehara told them he took his eyes off the road ahead for a few seconds and didn’t see the woman on the bicycle.

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the incident occurred at around 12:10 a.m.

Cycling during the night, need to make sure having proper light and reflective gear. Blame doesn't always go to car driver.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Blame doesn't always go to car driver.

usually goes to the person with the biggest vehicle

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Riding a bicycle on a crossing is forbidden, exactly for these type of reasons. Yes, driver took off his eyes for one second and is to blame but he also didn't expect someone riding a bicycle (so going more quickly than expected) on a crossing, especially at night.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

The driver hit the woman in the side, in a crossing, which (unless she was crossing against a traffic light) sounds like the man was turning and not paying attention. And he would have approached the intersection from behind her; even sensing headlights behind her, there's no way she could have anticipated that he would have barreled right through the turn and hit her.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

he took his eyes off the road ahead for a few seconds

Checking his phone?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Sometimes we see people riding bikes at night who wear helmets, who have a light, sometime a flashing light, on the back of the bike as well as the front. Sometimes we see people who obviously are aware of the dangers and take precautions to stay safe. Far more often we see people dressed in black on black bicycles, sometimes even with no lights on.

I am not judging this case, but I am saying that bicycle safety is in need of improvement here. The lack of rear lights is ridiculous. Drivers understand this. Unfortunately, too many cyclists don't.

This incident is unfortunate. We do not have sufficient information to allocate blame. Had either been drinking? We don't know. All we do know is that both suffer in a situation like this.

The driver will almost certainly be deemed wrong as the larger vehicle always seems to be blamed in such cases.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

He hit her.

She was on a crossing.

The onus of safety is on the larger vehicle in Japan.

There is nothing to suggest she had no lights.

His goose is cooked. And rightly too.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Checking his phone?

That would be a good wager.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"severe head injuries" can cause very severe pain....terrible po woman

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The amount of people I’ve seen taking the time to check their phones approaching a crossing or while passing through it is effing wild in this country. Near my kids school is a high traffic crossing area and every time it turns red for drivers some salaryman company car goes through it . The school and parents have been taking license plate photos of it all year but the cops still are not stationing anyone there

won’t do anything til one of these kids gets run over and suddenly “we were following the correct protocol” or whatever

rip to this lady. Distracted driving is a real issue globally

6 ( +6 / -0 )


Yet another death on Japan's roads. Roads with virtually no dedicated cycle lanes, few traffic calming measures to speak of, in the majority of cases not even pavements. The death of this poor woman is due to the awful design of Japan's roads every bit as much as it is due to the driver who admits he wasn't looking where he was going.

And don't forget the utility poles, signposts, etc that are in the roadway. Gah!!!

OTOH, I suppose they could be considered "traffic calming", albeit "driver stressing". (j/k)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We can speculate and say things like, "The man wasn't looking at the road." "The woman might have been crossing on red," etc. etc. But the fact is that this article gives no details that might allow us insight into why the accident happened. There's no way you can point a finger if you don't know what took place.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ Mr Kipling

She was on a crossing but it doesn't say that she had a green light. Maybe waiting for the facts would be better before being judgmental.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Coulda been

She was on a crossing but it doesn't say that she had a green light. Maybe waiting for the facts would be better before being judgmental.

As most crossings don't have traffic lights, it's highly likely that this one didn't, either. Of course, there could have been one. But, yes, without more facts, it's hard to place full fault on either party. However, the onus does usually fall on the driver of the motor vehicle in such cases, absent extenuating circumstance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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