crime

Woman cyclist killed in hit-and-run with motorbike

28 Comments

A 51-year-old woman died Sunday morning after the bicycle she was riding was hit by a motorcycle that kept going in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 12:10 a.m., Sankei Shimbun reported. Police said the woman, Yumiko Yamamoto, a resident of Sagamihara, was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

A witness called 110 and reported the incident. Police said they are examining street surveillance camera footage to try and identify the motorcycle.

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28 Comments
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Coward. When they get caught cue: I got something but didn’t think it was a person. Typical Japanese excuse

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Not enough info. The person who ran needs to be held responsible for doing so, but with the way people ignore bicycle laws in this country the woman could have been at fault for the collision.

11 ( +21 / -10 )

"According to police, the incident occurred at around 12:10 a.m.,"

The time of the accident confuses me; did it occur in the middle of night, or at lunch time...?

-25 ( +2 / -27 )

Even if the bicyclist caused the collision, the driver of the heavier, powered vehicle is expected to drive with the skill of a "professional driver" (someone who makes their living from driving, such as a taxi driver) and will be deemed solely at fault or mostly at fault. In addition, the motorcyclist will be charged with failing to render aid and with leaving the scene of an accident.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

There’s a huge legal problem in Japan.

you have an accident which involves a death, regardless of whether it is your fault or not, you go to prison for a long time.

if calling an ambulance/police, in case of innocence, automatically excluded the prison sentence, I think a lot less hit and run accidents would occur.

it is truly regrettable.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

@Sal Affist: [...the driver of the heavier, powered vehicle is expected to drive with the skill of a "professional driver" ...]

if that logic holds, then a person jumping in front of a train did not commit suicide, they were murdered by a train, and it's the train's fault.

If you cause an accident, you're at fault, it's not about "who's heavier".

That said, there's nothing in the story to suggest the woman was at any fault at all

8 ( +13 / -5 )

"According to police, the incident occurred at around 12:10 a.m.,"

The time of the accident confuses me; did it occur in the middle of night, or at lunch time...?

Seriously? Do you not know about AM and PM?

26 ( +29 / -3 )

The "running away" part would seem to indicate possible wrong doing.... Late at night... had a few beers?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sal Affist: "Even if the bicyclist caused the collision, the driver of the heavier, powered vehicle is expected to drive with the skill of a "professional driver" (someone who makes their living from driving, such as a taxi driver) and will be deemed solely at fault or mostly at fault."

Oh, I know what the stupidity of the laws are here, but that does not mean the woman was ACTUALLY not at fault (and she may not have been... my point is we don't know). And again, the driver is to blame for running away. But the "logic" of the law here is moronic, and so much so that only RECENTLY, with the help of dashboard cameras, some cyclists who have been intentionally causing accidents to get compensation money are STARTING to receive most (not all) of the blame for such accidents.

Just this morning while in the car with my partner a wee li'l woman, riding one of those Panasonic electric tanks, with a kid on a baby seat on the handle bars, and one on the back, and TWO umbrellas attached and opened, veered off from the half-meter wide sidewalk she was barreling down into the road, in front of a car, without looking behind her. She's pilled, the kids fell out, the car nearly hit them all (but fortunately didn't), one umbrella broke, her giant bag in the basket in front of the kid on the handle bars spilled out onto the road, etc. 100% her fault, but while we did not stick around as numerous people were going to help her and the man driving the car had also gotten out, I'm willing to bet in some way HE will have to pay for something (even though she was breaking a number of laws to begin with before bolting in front of him). It was quit the morning spectacle. I hope the kids are okay, thought they should be taken away from mom.

Mat: "if that logic holds, then a person jumping in front of a train did not commit suicide, they were murdered by a train, and it's the train's fault."

Exactly! Although train companies are and always have been protected by the government, which has vested interests. Someone COULD jump in front of a car and the car would take the blame, though.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

in Japan (or pretty much anywhere else in the world, but especially here) you have to drive for yourself and also for the others.... driving safely and respecting the rules..its simply not enough... you have to constantly put your 危険予測 risk prediction skills to use... I drive in Tokyo everyday and while in residential areas I usually slow down/stop at every small intersection, many cyclists have absolutely no idea this 止まれ stop sign even exhists, they think its a rule for cars, and here lies the danger.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The "running away" part would seem to indicate possible wrong doing.... Late at night... had a few beers?

Not necessarily.

Not enough info. The person who ran needs to be held responsible for doing so, but with the way people ignore bicycle laws in this country the woman could have been at fault for the collision.

Absolutely.

To be honest, if I had a collision with a cyclist and he/she was doing something clearly illegal - eg. riding with an umbrella, against traffic - I would very likely bugger off - as long as there was nobody else around. While the act of leaving the scene of an accident may be illegal, it's nothing compared to the immoral penalties imposed on drivers who are the real victim.

Just because a cyclist dies, does not make him or her the victim of the actions of a driver.

I would feel bad, but not responsible.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Bicycles and motor vehicles cannot coexist, despite laws that ignore the reality of physics.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Garypen

Japanese time is not using international way. The standard way to write using AM and PM is without using after 12:00 by principle. So writing 12:10 AM has no meaning to many (2 × 12 hours in a day, no more). You write 00:10 AM for just past midnight, and that is the time the accident happened because no logic applied. Like sometimes writing 25:00 for 01: AM.

RIP but lack of any detail makes it useless to reader about what really happened.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

smithinjapanJune 13  04:21 pm JST

Not enough info. The person who ran needs to be held responsible for doing so, but with the way people ignore bicycle laws in this country the woman could have been at fault for the collision.

The motorcyclist could've at least had the decency to stop and try to help the woman he knocked down. What a cowardly imbecile.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Coward. When they get caught cue: I got something but didn’t think it was a person. Typical Japanese excuse

This in not typical Japanese excuse, it's typical excuse for every coward implied in a hit and run crime in the world..

Hit and run happen in all places..

Grow up !!..

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Considering how the cops here assume motorcycles and cars are always at fault when it comes to accidents with bicycles or pedestrians, if I were involved in an accident that wasn't my fault while driving--maybe a bicycle shot out of a side street without stopping and into the front of my vehicle--I'd probably make a run for it too.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I hope its not some underaged kid who was out joy riding which would mean they could get away easily because they're a "minor". The media would downplay it as nothing serious if it turns out to be a kid. Just turn yourself in and face the music!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not specific to this case, but some cyclists are doing themselves no favours by not having front or back lights. Absolutely stupid during night time, considering how dark Japanese roads can get.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Just because a cyclist dies, does not make him or her the victim of the actions of a driver.

Unbelievable. Cars, and to a much lesser extent motorbikes, kill thousands of people every year in Japan alone. Globally the number is even more staggering; over a million people are killed by cars every year. And then millions more are injured or disabled by cars.

Cars bring noise, pollution, fear, injury, disablement, and death to every community in the country and the world, and yet their selfish entitled owners continue to see themselves as the victims rather than the perpetrators of this carnage.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If I watch how many (most) pedestrians and cyclists behave on the streets of Japan I can only wonder that not more (much more) of them get killed. Traffic regulations obviously do not exist for most of them.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

this is really sad and I am sorry for the woman's family. But I ride a motorcycle in Tokyo and the bicyclists here seem to think they are invincible. I'm actually more scared of a bicycle or moped cutting in front of me and me killing someone more than me being hurt by a car.

And what is someone riding a bicycle at 12:15am (midnight)? Bicyclists here almost never wear reflective over garments, and even rarely wear helmets or have lights on their bikes, especially the mama-chari riders. I'm not saying the woman was at fault (maybe turned out into traffic without looking), but honestly it is really hard to see bicyclists at night. The motorcyclist obviously should not have run but I understand the fear of prison time in Japan for something that might not be your fault.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Not enough info. The person who ran needs to be held responsible for doing so, but with the way people ignore bicycle laws in this country the woman could have been at fault for the collision.

Nor is there enough info to make a victim-blaming statement like that.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The TV news at lunchtime indicated they have apprehended a suspect. Perhaps in a day or two we'll hear that he has confessed to negligent driving causing injury and leaving the scene of the accident. R.I.P. to Ms. Yamamoto. At least your family may have some closure from seeing justice done.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Many moons ago, a guy jumped out in front of my motorcycle without looking, I hit his trailing ankle, he spun and hit the deck and was carried off to hospital in a meat wagon with a cracker of a bump on his forehead. The cops interviewed him and he said he looked before crossing. Using simple logic, I explained that if that were the case, he had attempted to commit suicide. The j-cops saw my logic and I got off with presenting him with a box of cakes. No recompense for my trashed bike, but no charges for me either. Now, if he had died...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The motorcycle driver has been arrested. He is 36 years old and has told police that he does not have a driving licence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

starpunkToday  04:08 am JST

The motorcyclist could've at least had the decency to stop and try to help the woman he knocked down.

How do you know the motorcyclist was a man? Could've been a woman for all we know.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

HakmanJune 14  08:24 pm JST

starpunkToday  04:08 am JST

The motorcyclist could've at least had the decency to stop and try to help the woman he knocked down.

How do you know the motorcyclist was a man? Could've been a woman for all we know.

a guess. You might not know until the helmet and/or jacket comes off.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sir_bentley28June 14  09:02 am JST

I hope its not some underaged kid who was out joy riding which would mean they could get away easily because they're a "minor". The media would downplay it as nothing serious if it turns out to be a kid. Just turn yourself in and face the music!

Part of growing up is learning to take responsibility for stupid actions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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