crime

Woman walking her dog killed in hit-and-run incident; driver arrested

17 Comments

Police in Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture, said Saturday they have arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of reckless driving resulting in death after he hit and killed a 78-year-old woman who was walking her dog.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 7 a.m. Friday. Police said Kuniko Utsunomiya was walking her dog along a road with no sidewalk when she and the dog were hit from behind by a car, Fuji TV reported. The driver of the car, Yoshiro Takahashi, kept going but returned to the scene about 30 minutes later.

Utsunomiya was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead. The dog was also killed.

Police said Takahashi, a company employee who lives in Ishioka, Ibaraki Prefecture, has partially admitted to the charge. He was quoted as saying he realized afterwards that he had hit a dog but insisted that he didn’t see the woman.

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17 Comments
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I've never been scared to walk anywhere in my life before I came to Japan. You have to be ultra alert here. Drivers seem not to care whatsoever about pedestrians. Always look behind you on these small streets and never trust that anyone will stop at a red light.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

Reckless driving is part of the culture here. Having a stone face and racing along these narrow roads with no sense of responsibility to others is the norm and it's not just the drivers drivers. Pedestrians and cyclists have the same stoney face and reckless attitude. I've always said, "Gambling is illegal in Japan until you get on the roads. Then, you gamble with your life." RIP to the lady and her dog.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

He was quoted as saying he realized afterwards that he had hit a dog but insisted that he didn’t see the woman.

Yeah right, dont know how big the dog was, but I will bet any money that it was a hell of a lot smaller than the woman you killed!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

When they review his phone records they will see that he was texting the whole time before and afterwards.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I always try to walk against traffic but in some places it’s difficult or impossible. And there are so many places with no sidewalk or even decent width of a space to walk in. In winter it becomes even more of a nightmare.

At least this guy returned to the scene. A couple of days ago a 49-year-old woman was arrested for the hit and run death of an 81-year-old man the night before in Goshogawara, Aomori. She didn’t return but the police found her and her car with dented bumper quickly. Claims she knew she hit something but didn’t think it was a person.

Invalid CSRF

5 ( +8 / -3 )

When I renewed my license here early last yeat, we watched a video to be cautious of kids chasing a ball, bicycles losing balance and dogs running wild while on the leash and the owner following it. In these cases, I always slow down a great deal when approaching these situations. Sidewalks are unfortunately scarce in the suburbs.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@DaDude - When I renewed my license here early last yeat, we watched a video to be cautious of kids chasing a ball, bicycles losing balance and dogs running wild while on the leash and the owner following it. In these cases, I always slow down a great deal when approaching these situations. Sidewalks are unfortunately scarce in the suburbs.

Yeah, and most people slept through the video, right?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No real hit and run if he returned.

City may be responsible partially because it forces its inhabitants to walk in the dark on the road.

All depends if driver was driving too fast.or not.

Also some pedestrians are careless and people usually wear dark clothing ...

With a SUV, you may not realize you've hit a body.

RIP.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Try walking on any street in any country is South East Asia, nobody stops at a red light and they don't stop for pedestrians. You basically gamble with you're own life if you cross a street in Jakarta or Bangkok. Japanese streets look pretty tame in comparison. But it's tragic that an old lady out for her morning walk with her dog gets hit and died. And the dog too.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No real hit and run if he returned.

If he didn't call an ambulance and wait, it's a hit and run.

City may be responsible partially because it forces its inhabitants to walk in the dark on the road.

Doubt it was dark at 7 am

7 ( +10 / -3 )

In my area some streets have sidewalks but they're all crooked. The streets without sidewalks are much flatter and easier to walk / run / push stroller on. Usually not a problem but occasionally you get the nutter speeding around turns without paying attention.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Some are quick to judge.

Be sure of how you drive yourself.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

While Japan does have a higher proportion of pedistrians killed in accidents with vehicles than many other industrial countries, that does not mean that the drivers are responsible for a majority of the accidents, only that they can be held accoutable. A 78 yo woman walking her dog? Probably oblivious to the traffic on the road and careless in her walking. Perhaps she was hard of hearing, or losing her eyesight, or still mostly asleep, or following the dog rather than controlling it. As I get into senior citizenhood I am aware that both my five sences are diminishing and that my reaction times are slower, whether I am driving or walking.

An awful lot of Japanese walkers appear to have no sense as to where vehicles are around them. And the national police are not in charge of licensing pedistrians. Nor do they write many tickets for jaywalking. While we get mandatory education classes each time we renew our driver licenses, there is no requirement for pedistrians to get equal classes reminding them of walking safety. JMHO

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"he realized afterwards that he had hit a dog but insisted that he didn’t see the woman."

That must have been a GIANT dog as to where he saw the dog but not the women walking the dog.

He's lying.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

no excuses,he needs to go to prison for at least 10 years, start punishing these drivers and people will react accordingly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are you blind? Bye ur driving license

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps he was driving directly into the sunrise (since it was 7am) and couldn't see her and the dog.  Still no excuse for leaving the scene and not attempting to render aid.  The fact that he returned proves that he knew he hit something and should have immediately stopped.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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