2 killed in car crash in Shizuoka


A 4-year-old girl and a 51-year-old man were killed when two cars crashed head-on in Izumi, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Saturday.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 9 a.m. on a curve on the Izu-Jukan Expressway. A family of four were in one car on their way to Shimoda when they were by a station wagon that crossed over the center line into its path, Fuji TV reported.

Police identified the dead girl as Ayame Tomita. Her 6-year-old sister and parents sustained injuries but none are in a life-threatening condition. The man driving the station wagon, Yasuhiro Morita, suffered head and chest injuries and died late Saturday, police said.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the age of the girl killed from five to four and to add that the driver of one of the cars also died.

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It is hard when your 5 yr old kid questions you all the time when she sees kids that are not buckled up and even allowed to sit in front when she can't even pick up a toy or a cookie that fell because I do not allow her to take off her seat belt. There should be a stricter rule on child safety. And d@mn those 2 lane huggers...stick to your lane!!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, various possibilities as to why it's not included.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Here it's not, reflective of the Japanese indifference to being belted up or not.

Is the writer of the article Japanese? It doesn't say one way or the other. So I don't think that you can say that it's indicative of anything, as there are various reasons why it's not included.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Strangerland: Maybe that's part of the problem - in NZ whether or not the child was wearing a seatbelt would have been mentioned in the first paragraph of the article. Here it's not, reflective of the Japanese indifference to being belted up or not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ jcapan- of course they should, but the wouldn't have to if the driver enforced the rules first

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An article makes no mention of seat belts whatsoever, and 20 posts condemning the Japanese for not putting seat belts. Wow.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So sad but this comes from the cultural habit to only follow group rules. Japan does not apply common sense in many cases, this one rule of 'safety in car is for all' among others. I am sure that as soon as there is a government call about it, like premium Friday, it could be implemented largely within few weeks of awareness. But right now, loss of young lives is not what Japan needs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Prolific underuse of seatbelt of for toddlers, children. Prolific use of smartphones while driving, notably younger drivers and the number of times you see red lights being run...

Come on J-Cops, enforce the rules! Be the law!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Hate to pile in on this but it drives me nuts to see how the Japanese follow the rules with some things but with something as important as sestbelts for children, they don't. I I see the Japanese police obsessively pull bicycle over (to check for registration) but have never once seen them pull over a driver for endangering their child.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

She wasn't wearing a seatbelt is my guess. I asked a JP parent about this and their answer was "they are a safety driver" and refuse to listen to me about other drivers as it disagreed with their "image" of Japanese drivers.

This so not hard to fix if people did their jobs and there was public awareness, yet nothing is done about it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Based on common occurrence it's pretty safe to conclude the child was not properly restrained resulting in her death. Otherwise, why does this accident make the news and not the many other road accidents causing deaths?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A head on collision with a couple cars the size of large go karts and the drivers are not seriously!!! Yet a child dies?? I call BS.. When i commute in Japan I get so mad watching all the idiots with unsecured kids in the cars. An associate of mine just had a horrific accident with his 4 door full size pick up truck here in Canada (a vehicle 6 meters long!) that cartwheeled several times end for end and and his kids secured in car seats in the back seat where totally unharmed physically and the driver got a broken arm...that it! There was no reason for this senseless death. Japan is a first world;s about time the transportation department started legislating and enforcing rules that show that. The baby/car seats I did see over there where under engineered pieces of crap.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Agree with Robert. Many years ago in the US, AU, NZ it was common, but not anymore. Years of information campaigns and state-sponsored TV commercials taught the masses the importance of them.

I'm in Nagano now. Roads are snowy/icy and kids aren't belted in. Drivers think if they're not on a motorway they're not going to have an accident, but just the other day I saw three accidents on one nearby road in icy conditions. Small accidents can be fatal/cause head injuries, exploding air-bags can cause injury to children - people don't know this stuff! In 2017 there's no excuse!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Yet another thing the police are horrible at enforcing." Its not that, society is horrible at INFORMING. Too many parents have no idea how to properly secure their baby seat, child, or young person in a car.

Never in my life in the USA have I ever seen a child STANDING in a car in the USA. Don't get me wrong I would say the majority of people in Japan know how to properly secure their baby seats... But too many don't.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If a child dies in a car crash because they aren't wearing a seatbelt, it is the parents fault and / or the fault of the driver. If that's the case, the parents need to be prosecuted and others in the car punished

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I drive a lot for work so these kinds of stories are always a sore point for me. While it's clearly the driver of the other car's fault for coming across the centreline, lets assume for the moment that the young girl wasn't belted in (as almost every commenter so far has said, seeing kids unbelted is so common). When the driver recovers he's most likely going to jail for causing an accident which resulted in a fatality. That'll be a long sentence. However (and I know i'm assuming a few things here) had the girl been strapped in, she'd have survived. The driver wouldn't go to jail at all - or if he did, for a very short time.

I think in such cases there should be huge consideration given about this fact. Had the mother of the child done her job (legally and a bare-minimum responsibility as a mother to protect her child) then she'd be alive. The driver shouldn't suffer the full brunt of her carelessness. If anything, the mother should join the other driver in the slammer too! That'd make people belt up their kids!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"It's the driver's responsibility to ensure everyone is belted in. When I'm driving, I won't even put the car in gear until my whole family is secured"

And if drivers are clearly ignoring the law, the police should do nothing? You know, we could intervene to save children's lives but really it's got nothing to do with us. The law being just a general guideline, after all.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yet another thing the police are horrible at enforcing.

It's the driver's responsibility to ensure everyone is belted in. When I'm driving, I won't even put the car in gear until my whole family is secured

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Agree with others about kids sitting anywhere they like, restrained or otherwise. Yet another thing the police are horrible at enforcing.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The five-year old may have been seat-belted in but was sitting in the unlucky spot. It doesn't say in the article.

I don't exactly know what happened in this accident but I see kids unstrapped every weekday.

8 out of 10 cars driving their kids to the nursery school has kids unstrapped, standing and leaning on the front dash, standing on the back and front seats, bent over the top of the seat, or sitting unstrapped while the parent is strapped in. One sitting on the dash on Friday.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

all adults ok but the 5 year old died? i bet no child seat or the girl s seated in front or even both. Sometimes it makes me mad when I see little kids seated in front with no seatbelts or on childseat located iin passenger seat. Yesterday, I saw a car with the boy standing beside his father with the fatjhr holding his son's waist while driving.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

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