crime

Woman hit and killed by two cars; one driver stops, one flees

17 Comments

Police in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture, have arrested an 85-year-old woman over the hit-and-run death of a 78-year-old pedestrian who died after being hit by two cars.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 5 p.m. Monday on National Route 294. The victim, Mitsuko Matsushita, was walking on a pedestrian crossing with no traffic lights when she was struck by two vehicles one after the other. The driver of the first car stopped but the second car kept going.

Matsushita was taken to hospital where she died late Monday.

Using street surveillance camera footage, police identified the second car and arrested the driver, Miyuki Sato, Tuesday, on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death.

Police quoted Sato as saying she didn’t know she had run over anybody.

The driver of the first car that hit Matsushita, Yoshimi Watanabe, 61, has also been arrested on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death.

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17 Comments
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How many deaths by elderly drivers this week? A blanket ban on anyone over 75 years old and watch the incidents decrease. Seriously Japan wake up

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Vince Black - How many deaths by elderly drivers this week? A blanket ban on anyone over 75 years old and watch the incidents decrease. Seriously Japan wake up

Unfortunately, most of the elderly have no other choice than to drive, especially in rural and semi-rural areas like Toride the public transport (buses) are few and far between and unreliable plus, the elderly do not receive any rebates or discounts on taxis. As a result, these people must drive or become prisoners in their own homes. With the number of retirees at a third of the population and growing these incidents are bound to continue and increase

12 ( +14 / -2 )

In our city, out in the beach/countryside, there are community buses and taxi and for retired people reduction tickets for taxi.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Comedy gold old people who should not be driving killing not once but twice an old person not driving. So what do you do? Everyday an elderly person suddenly ambles in front of me. Luckily I'm matching their speed as I really don't want that thud that comes before a year of detention.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

It’s not just elderly drivers - every day in Japan, taxis, trucks, Kei cars, all types run red lights, and scream through pedestrian crossings without even pausing for a second. And people walk along and across narrow roads like they are in a safety bubble without even looking. No wonder these accidents are in the news all the time.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I have seen cars doing lots of crazy things, but pedestrians also. And I don't know who is to blame here, but ever notice the police NEVER blame the pedestrian? This is because they never really investigate and they ignore the laws of physics....just like some pedestrians that get themselves nailed.

As for the headline saying the second driver ran, that's a bit unfair. She says she did not know she hit any one. In fact, I am wondering what exactly the evidence is that the police have that she did? A dent? A tread mark? Don't tell me its video footage because surveillance video can be grainy and from one angle it can appear things made contact that didn't.

And even if she did she might have noticed it if was light contact, or did notice but thought nothing of it. I drive a lot and I have stopped a few times because of sounds but found nothing. Even hitting a large bug can make a pretty big noise, as can some tiny thing flying up from under a tire into the undercarriage.

And on top of that, being the second car to hit just sucks. Your view is obstructed by the car in front and bodies can fly and roll but you get to share the blame anyway.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I have rarely seen a driver slow down as they're coming towards such a crossing, let alone stop. Which sort of makes me wonder why have them ?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

More elderly drivers in accidents, more excuses for it not being the fault of the elderly...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If the police inforced laws and not just for show this maybe wouldnt have happened. You stop at zebra crossings or just get rid of the bloody things. Taxis also constantly stop on them here in Kobe that gets right up my... nose.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

she didn’t know she had run over anybody.

Yeah sure. She probably thought she drove over a pebble or hit a piece of fluff.

If would help if drivers actually stopped at red lights, pedestrian crossings or parking lot exits. A car crashed into me recently because the driver thought there was no need to stop at the stop sign at the exit of a parking lot. And just last night, yet again, I saw a woman using a mobile phone while making a right turn on a major road.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I have seen cars doing lots of crazy things, but pedestrians also. And I don't know who is to blame here, but ever notice the police NEVER blame the pedestrian? This is because they never really investigate and they ignore the laws of physics....just like some pedestrians that get themselves nailed.

Police never blame the pedestrian because under the Japanese Road Traffic Act, regardless of the circumstances (except for extenuating ones) the driver is always at fault. A pedestrian could be standing in the middle of a road just waiting to get hit and IF you hit them, the driver of the vehicle will always be at fault because as the driver of a multi-ton machine capable of severely injuring someone, the onus is on you.

*Wife is a police officer in the traffic division.

Now, that being said, the charge may be dropped once in court due to the circumstances.

If the police inforced laws and not just for show this maybe wouldnt have happened. You stop at zebra crossings or just get rid of the bloody things. Taxis also constantly stop on them here in Kobe that gets right up my... nose.

Um no, you don't. According to the Road Traffic Act, Article 38 you only stop at a pedestrian crossing if a pedestrian is crossing/about to cross.

Article 38 (1) When approaching a pedestrian crossing or a bicycle crossing lane (hereinafter referred to in this Article as a "pedestrian or bicycle crossing"), a vehicle or streetcar must proceed at a speed that will enable it to stop immediately in front of the pedestrian or bicycle crossing (or immediately in front of any stop line indicated by road signs or markings; the same applies hereinafter in this paragraph), unless there are clearly no pedestrians or bicycles (hereinafter referred to in this Article as a "pedestrian or cyclist") ahead of the vehicle or streetcar. In such a case, if a pedestrian or cyclist is crossing or about to cross the pedestrian or bicycle crossing ahead of the vehicle or streetcar, the vehicle or streetcar must come to a stop immediately in front of the pedestrian or bicycle crossing and must not prevent that pedestrian or cyclist from proceeding.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A car crashed into me recently because the driver thought there was no need to stop at the stop sign at the exit of a parking lot.

And you must have thought there was no need for you to ensure it was safe to cross. How well did the law protect you? Did it provide a bandage even? Kids are taught to raise their hand before crossing. Its not because they are kids. Its because of this:

if a pedestrian or cyclist is crossing or about to cross the pedestrian or bicycle crossing ahead of the vehicle or streetcar,

Once again we have a law telling people to divine the intent of others. Driver's can't read minds. They don't even test for mind reading before granting licenses!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Police never blame the pedestrian because under the Japanese Road Traffic Act,

Yep. And because of that they don't conduct a proper investigation. It seems some old men in the Diet magically knew that no pedestrian would ever be the cause of a traffic accident. Amazing those guys! Stable geniuses!

the driver of the vehicle will always be at fault because as the driver of a multi-ton machine capable of severely injuring someone, the onus is on you.

Philosophically that sounds great! But among those familiar with physical reality its complete garbage. A driver is literally sitting in a glass and steel bubble with hearing and vision obstruction wih much greater momentum than any human could ever muster with their own body, and so cannot stop as fast a person CAN EVEN RETREAT back across the road.

The traffic law on that was bad enough when it was decided like 80 or more years ago. But I suppose the seams didn't show because it was a different time altogether with very few cars on the road, more narrow and winding roads keeping speeds down, and people needing to cover much less ground in a day. Well the seams are bursting now. But why would the government stop it when they are racking up such stacks of coin in fining drivers for not stopping when police guesstimate they should have? The amounts surely outweigh the cost of the medical bills, of which the government pays only part anyway.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Re: *if a pedestrian or cyclist is crossing *or about to cross

Once again we have a law telling people to divine the intent of others. Driver's can't read minds. They don't even test for mind reading before granting licenses!

The fact that she was actually walking on the pedestrian crossing might have been a clue about her intent to cross, just maybe?

More generally, if someone is standing by a pedestrian crossing, it behoves the driver to assume that the person wants to cross and treat the crossing as if it were a junction. At least slow the f down!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The fact that she was actually walking on the pedestrian crossing might have been a clue about her intent to cross, just maybe?

You have no concept of the passage of time. Imagine you are driving and you see someone getting close to the cross walk, perpendicular, on their left, but their head is facing right as they look off at something or other. Their pace is uneven, as if they are about to head off to whatever they are looking at. Well, like most people you are probably going to figure this person has no intent to cross and so you keep going. But then suddenly this person turns left and just starts crossing, and before you can stop you hit them. NOW you know their intent but time only flows forward. Knowing NOW means nothing. You can't go back. The horse has bolted.

See, you have no idea what happened in the space of time between being just off and being on the crosswalk. She could have come from between two parked cars, tripped into the road, been standing there for ages and seen standing there from a half a kilometer away and was free to cross, or maybe she hurried into the road. She might even been near invisible for wearing all gray or black and trying divining the intent of a person you don't even realize is there!

if someone is standing by a pedestrian crossing, it behoves the driver to assume that the person wants to cross and treat the crossing as if it were a junction.

Right up until you get rear ended for making an assumption no one else does. People loiter at the crosswalks all the time and I wish that were illegal and came with fines. It would make my life as a daily driver a hell of a lot less stressful.

But as far as I know pedestrians have not one shred of duty or accountability and that is just pure madness. Its how the scam of atariya was born and its also why so many pedestrians get themselves killed, thinking, wrongly, that the laws of nature will conform to the law of the land.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sigh......

Police not doing their job by patrolling the streets.

Pedestrians not paying attention to their surroundings or traffic signals, just walking without checking.

Drivers definitely not paying attention to the roads.

Government not doing things to help transport the elderly more.

The list could go on and on.

EVERYONE is at fault here, and they all know the issues.

But of course, nothing is being done about any of it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Police quoted Sato as saying she didn’t know she had run over anybody.

Even more of a reason not to be driving.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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