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3-year-old boy dies after being hit by car in Iwate

51 Comments

Police said Monday that a 3-year-old boy died after being hit by a car in Iwate. According to police, the accident occurred at around 2:30 p.m. Sunday on National Route 4.

TV Asahi quoted police as saying that the boy, identified as Keigo Imamatsu, suddenly ran onto the road. Police said he suffered severe head injuries and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The accident occurred on a straight stretch of the road with a good view, with no traffic lights or crosswalk nearby.

Police said the driver of the car, a 41-year-old man, told them that the boy seemed to come out of nowhere and he was unable stop the car or swerve out of the way in time.

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51 Comments
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What in the hell was a 3 year old doing by himself!!! The crap parents should be charged with murder!! Iwate is out in the middle of no where but leaving this poor little child to go stray away and end up on a national highway??????? What fools!! RIP poor 3 year little angel

3 ( +12 / -9 )

I am not going to defend the parents here, however whomever was watching the child, be it parents, grandparents, or a daycare staff, they were negligent in not keeping an eye out on this poor child.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

One more preventable tragedy... RIP little one.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

All I can say is oh my god. Will people never learn? What the hell is a 3year old doing running onto a highway? Where were his guardians or parents????

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It is terribly sad. The parents must be in utter pain.

I have often seen how kids are allowed to wander around behind their parents by themselves on the street. It baffles me every time, but apparently it's some kind of "Mother Duck/duckling" learning technique.

Personally, I reckon screw learning and development, in favour of safety - I think child reins are an excellent idea, and their use should be encouraged

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I think child reins are an excellent idea, and their use should be encouraged

Sorry I disagree with your point about child reins. My child is a human being not a dog to be taken out for a walk.

I've raised 3 kids and I know tragic accidents can occur but mt child's dignity matters too. Holding hands, carrying the child, using a pram, and more importantly paying attention to your child is more important than putting them on a leash.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

I feel so so sorry for this driver. Its everyones worst nightmare behind the wheel. A child coming our of nowhere and nothing you can do to avoid it.

As for the supposed carers of the child at the time whoever they were - words fail me.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Tired of hearing about all these children getting knocked off....drowning, falling off balconies, etc etc. All because some lazy parent cannot be bothered to keep a eye on their child!

If your going to have a child then at least learn to look after one. If you do not know how then do not have one. I am a kindergarten teacher in Kawasaki, I can tell you...it takes a split second for a child to come into harms way!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Yubaru - you are at liberty to disagree.

I question whether the idea of dignity (or loss of it) is much of a concept for a toddler.

Certainly, adults can be very judgmental about how people raise their children and keep them safe.

People often use meaningless words in this way, to try to embarrass those parents who are raising their offspring differently from how they themselves are .

But then, what business is it of theirs?

I repeat - kudos to child reins.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Poor little boy.

Yubaru - When I first put my son on reins I got lots of comments like yours, about 'treating the child like a dog'. Better safe than sorry, and there are times when a parent simply doesn't have enough hands to manage a child (or couple of children), pram, shopping and whatever else the day throws at them. A harness and lead is a godsend for any parent whose toddler has what is euphemistically called an independent streak. First keep the child safe, then worry about his dignity. I wonder how dignified this little boy felt when the car hit him.

I love my dog to bits, and any child treated as well as my dog is doing pretty OK, I reckon. From what I see, a lot aren't.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Better safe than sorry, and there are times when a parent simply doesn't have enough hands to manage a child (or couple of children), pram, shopping and whatever else the day throws at them.

Like it or not, these are all just excuses to justify an action. I've been there, done that, and it's a matter of priorities. You make the time, inconvenient as it often times is you do not put your child in a risky situation.

I question whether the idea of dignity (or loss of it) is much of a concept for a toddler

It's also the parents dignity as well. My child is not an animal to be put on a leash, for me it is black and white. The rest of the comments of people who agree with their use is their opinion, but I do feel sorry for the child being treated the same as the family dog.

My children are above that.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Parents???? Where???

1 ( +4 / -3 )

ChibaChick

I feel so so sorry for this driver. Its everyones worst nightmare behind the wheel. A child coming our of nowhere and nothing you can do to avoid it.

And the worst part is that he was found by the police to be at least partially at fault for not preventing the accident by being more attentive, driving defensively, etc. because according to JPS all accidents are preventable, the driver is always responsible regardless of what the pedestrian is doing as in this case, and there's no such thing as a 100%-0% accident.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

JPS all accidents are preventable, the driver is always responsible regardless of what the pedestrian is doing as in this case, and there's no such thing as a 100%-0% accident.

This is pure bull and urban myth here in Japan. In many cases fault is NOT determined by the police but by the insurance companies. The police file a report and the insurance companies determine fault.

In a case of injury or death or when there was a violation that let to an accident the police will investigate and then make a decision on whether or not to charge the person or people involved.

Oh, btw, I know, I paid 100% in an accident.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That poor driver. When on when will the locals realise that kids need constant supervision? Too manys times I see kids out on their own or mom/dad so far away the child might as well be alone. There is no way a child that age should be anywhere near a highway, let alone near a highway and alone. RIP little one and I hope the driver gets the support he will need to overcome this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Poor kid, but how about the poor driver who has to live with that for the rest of his life...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

RIP little one, young kids need to be supervised constantly!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh and to the folks who justify the use of leashes on their children, keep in mind that YOUR day may come, when you get too old or have Alzheimer's (heaven forbid) and your child recalls the days when you put them in a leash to keep them from wandering off will probably return the favor.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I once made "reins" for some friends' young child in Hikone, many years ago. I didn't know they actually sell them now in Japan (they didn't then) but they proved to be extremely useful for my friends. As Chibachick and others have said, I also feel very sorry for the driver - and the police will say it's 100% his fault.

I almost ran over a child once in France (riding my "mobylette"). He suddenly dashed out from behind a car to retrieve a ball. His father, who had witnessed the whole scene, apologized profusely to me, helped me pick up my mobylette and took me to a pharmacy to get a couple of "band-aids". No police were involved.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This preventable tragedy of kids dying is becoming a daily story here. My heart goes out to the driver, and RIP to the little one, but while I'm sure the parents are grieving and no one deserves such pain, I hope they are reflecting on their negligence.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

to the folks who justify the use of leashes on their children, keep in mind that YOUR day may come, when you get too old or have Alzheimer's (heaven forbid) and your child recalls the days when you put them in a leash to keep them from wandering off will probably return the favor.

If heaven forbid I ever do get to the stage where I am not responsible for myself, I hope my kids will do all in their power to keep me safe.

My child is not an animal to be put on a leash

Better to be put on a leash than on a cold marble slab.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I can imagine the heartache the parents probably feel. I don't even like to think about it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yubaru

First, clarification: When I said that there's no such thing as a 100%-0% case, I obviously meant that the driver is never found to be 0% at fault.

This is pure bull and urban myth here in Japan. In many cases fault is NOT determined by the police but by the insurance companies. The police file a report and the insurance companies determine fault.

And on what do the insurance companies base their determination of fault? That's right, the police report. Insurance agents almost never see the accident site as is, but only long after vehicles have been moved and the site has been cleaned up, so they base they're decisions on who is at fault based entirely on the police report. Again, the police's findings/report will NEVER describe the driver involved in a vehicle vs. pedestrian/cyclist accident or either driver in a vehicle vs/ vehicle accident to be 0% at fault. No. Matter. What. And so there's no surprise that the insurance companies assign some portion of responsibility to the driver regardless of the circumstance. Kind of convenient that doing so increase the drivers' premiums too. Hmmm. Bull? Hardly.

Oh, btw, I know, I paid 100% in an accident.

Let me guess, you were the driver right? Exactly my point.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm wondering how fast the driver was going. What was the speed limit?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh and to the folks who justify the use of leashes on their children, keep in mind that YOUR day may come,

Yes, it would be such a horrible thing to have children look after their parents the best they can when the parents are old. Seriously? Is that the best ou can come up with? I see parents with kids on leashes and think "What fantastic parents. They are looking out for the safety of their kids and dealing with stupid comments from people who don't see the benefits of such things". Point proven.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Parents!?!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There's not enough info in this article. Was the stretch of highway in a residential zone? Did the kid escape from his home or carer? Just not enough info!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have a question. Do all national roads considered a highway? Looking at J-news, this looks like an ordinary residential road that runs through the town. It doesn't even have a center line.

If this road is what they say it is,

The accident occurred on a straight stretch of the road with a good view,

there is a slight possibility that this accident could have been prevented with careful driving.

I'm not saying the driver is at fault (really feel sorry for him), but in the Inaka and probably the same thing could be said for the uramichi in the city, we do have to be careful of what can hit us, or vice verca.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

By the way JT your editing features here are frigged up royally. Get your shit together please and do something about it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Watch this video about the accident before it's deleted.

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/ann?a=20130617-00000004-ann-soci

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru, get a new argument. I'm a parent and tried once to put a leash on my child in Japan but he hated it. Do you really, really think parents who do so are equating their child with an animal??? The parent who puts a leash on their child in a busy area really thinks their child is at dog level? Grow up.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Child reins = good Annoying squeaky shoes that some toddlers wear here = bad

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm a parent and tried once to put a leash on my child in Japan

I can't imagine how many stares you must have gotten.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

cleo - completely agree with you here.

The reality is, that for most of us women who are left with the day to day childcare of our children (while, for the most part, having no one else around us to help out) things like reins are absolutely vital. As are seatbelts, bike helmets and stair safety gates.

Most mothers have been in the situation of trying to walk home with a toddler and a couple of shopping bags. Many of us have had that heart stopping jolt when our kid suddenly bolts away from us, even when we are holding their hands. All kids do it, and little boys are notoriously the worst for it.

People who object and say "Its Kawaii sooou" or "Its like a dog" when kids are on reins make me chuckle - they obviously have very little experience of being out in public with children. Because even if they chose not to use reins for their own children, they would understand the reasons WHY other parents do.

While the whole "Let the children run free" idea is lovely, 2 and 3 year olds just don't have impulse control. Better safe than sorry, I say. I bet you any money, if someone offered to turn back the clock , and gave these parents a set of reins for the kid to use, the parents would take up the offer...

And the negligence on the part of this boys caregivers is absolutely insane. My heart goes out to the driver of this car.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I can't imagine how many stares you must have gotten.

So because people stare, parents should stop doing what they think is right for their child? Yikes. You know who I stare at? Parents who allow their kids to play in danergous areas or who are causing danger to others. I would not stare at a parent who is taking the time and effort to look after their kids in an effective manner like having their child on a child leash. Kids not strapped into car seats? Stare. Kids not strapped into bike seats? Stare. Kids playing by the road? Stare. Kids on a kid's leash? Nope. If parents can't handle people having different opinions about their method of child rearing, they aren't mature enough to have kids. Had this kid had a leash on him, he's be alive. Not enough incentive?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So you get some stares?? Big deal!! If your kid is SAFE those doing the staring can go and stare at their own kids when they get hit by a car, etc!! Better SAFE than sorry!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For all those parent bashers here - it is utmost pain and darkest moment in life for parents to lose their kid in such manner. The story is incomplete and it does not indicate if the parents are really responsible and in what situation the kid dropped in front of car suddenly. I have three kids and one of them is three years old now. Small kids make sudden moves and they disappear and takes you few seconds to realize where they went even before you realize what happened. And it takes few seconds for such a tragic accident to happen......RIP baby

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm a parent and tried once to put a leash on my child in Japan

No child relishes the idea of having to stay here when they want to run over there. Tough kid, you're going to do what Mum says.

I can't imagine how many stares you must have gotten.

I used to get stares (and comments) when I put my kids on a leash (hundreds of years ago...), but hey, better to be stared at for having your child on a leash than pitied for having a child who's a traffic accident statistic.

As for the when they grow up they'll remember... argument, my daughter obviously does remember, cos the first thing she did when her daughter started walking was invest in a cute little harness-and-reins set (yellow and brown stripes, with little 'wings' so kiddy can pretend she's a bumble bee, cute enough to knock your socks off (yes, I'm somewhat biased....) and draw smiles from passers-by). The reaction these days is very different; most people understand what they're for, and think they're a good idea.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

RIP little boy. I have a 4 yr old and a 2yr old. I always consider accidents like this as a reminder to myself to watch out. ...and I also just want to say that I'm getting pretty tired of reading the same types of comments from the usual armchair quarterbacks everytime an article like this appears on JT. Sorry, just saying.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nope, I didn't notice any stares. Wouldn't have cared. But I've seen lots of kids on leashes in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru, get a new argument. I'm a parent and tried once to put a leash on my child in Japan but he hated it. Do you really, really think parents who do so are equating their child with an animal??? The parent who puts a leash on their child in a busy area really thinks their child is at dog level? Grow up.

That is exactly how it looks to ME, you pair them together? Dog and baby? One leash in each hand!

You can not change or alter my opinion nor the opinions of people who think that they are just an excuse for parents who can not control their own children. Or can not be creative enough to make the time to hold their child's hand or carry them, or do what is necessary to ensure their safety without leashing them.

You like them, fine that's your opinion. If I think the parents who use them on their children are putting them at the same level as their DOG, that is MY opinion. it's a free world, if you dont like it, grow up.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Readers, no more bickering. Please focus your comments on the story and not at each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

a national highway???????

A highway ? It's the street of the village where they live, and the boy had got out of his home, apparently to visit relatives that live a few houses away. It's likely the parents were thinking he was in the next room. Sad,

Had this kid had a leash on him, he's be alive.

At home, that would be cages to store safely all the children whenever you go to the toilet or have to unlock the cupboard where you safe-store the knives... Maybe they make some cute overload models with a wheel sold with a hamster onesie.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Again and again and again all these awkward comments to make the parents feel guilty because of road accidents. While the same people would show more compassion for a cat smashed under a wheel car.

Small children can escape even under tight vigilance, do you know that?

a 41-year-old man, told them that the boy seemed to come out of nowhere and he was unable stop the car or swerve out of the way in time.

This is irrelevant. What need to be established was his speed and ability to drive.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And on what do the insurance companies base their determination of fault? That's right, the police report. Insurance agents almost never see the accident site as is, but only long after vehicles have been moved and the site has been cleaned up, so they base they're decisions on who is at fault based entirely on the police report. Again, the police's findings/report will NEVER describe the driver involved in a vehicle vs. pedestrian/cyclist accident or either driver in a vehicle vs/ vehicle accident to be 0% at fault. No. Matter. What. And so there's no surprise that the insurance companies assign some portion of responsibility to the driver regardless of the circumstance. Kind of convenient that doing so increase the drivers' premiums too. Hmmm. Bull? Hardly.

FYI you are mistaken. There are 100% fault accidents here, I can give you any number of scenarios where it has happened, a few from personal experience and others from my former father-in-law, who was a Japanese police officer who explained it to me, in quite the detail, after I too thought the same as you.

It's urban myth. And the police typically only determine fault when there was a violation committed during the accident, injury, death, or damage to public property. Otherwise it's totally up to the insurance companies. They do and will find 100% fault with drivers and access liability accordingly as well.

Another thing, if you know anything about automobile insurance here your supposition about rate increases is also quite off the mark. After my own accident my insurance did not go up even 1 yen. If you know about the points system with the insurance you will understand what I am talking about.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At home, that would be cages to store safely all the children whenever you go to the toilet or have to unlock the cupboard where you safe-store the knives... Maybe they make some cute overload models with a wheel sold with a hamster onesie.

Why are you making the assumption that the caregiver was in the bathroom? They could be like the hundreds of parents I've seen here who are simply not paying attention to their children. Isn't amazing that teachers/daycare workers, who are in charge of up to 40 kids at a time, don't seem to have an issue with kids running out of schools and getting hit by cars. Parents with one or two kids? We read about them falling out of windows, off balconies, drowning, getting hit by cars pretty much every darn day. Tells me to something about the level of parenting that is going on here.

This is irrelevant. What need to be established was his speed and ability to drive. Interesting. I think what also needs to be established is how this child was able to be out alone on the side of a "highway" without any supervision. You can kill a child driving 5km an hour. However, it would be mightly difficult to kill a child with a car who was secure in the safety of his house.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

YubaruJun. 18, 2013 - 07:52AM JST

Sorry I disagree with your point about child reins. My child is a human being not a dog to be taken out for a walk.

So just because a child is restrained by a harness, they are being treated like dogs? Just out of curiosity, what do you think about baby beds/cribs and play pens? ....caged monkeys? What about child seats in cars where kids are strapped in so they can't even sit up if they wanted to? .....psychiatric patients? Homicidal maniac?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

All readers back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This scenario is my worst nightmare. A kid or anyone for this matter running into my way. Besides the guilt, pay 10s of thousands of $ or go to jail or even worse, get deported. Because as you know, it's always the driver's fault, no matter what. As a driver suppose to drive only as fast as conditions permit to come to a full stop at any times. Do we? Btw, I'm now double locking our doors every night. We have a 3 and 5-year young boy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So just because a child is restrained by a harness, they are being treated like dogs?

Or any other animal that is restrained by a leash.

Just out of curiosity, what do you think about baby beds/cribs and play pens? ....caged monkeys?

Not the same, points for trying though.

What about child seats in cars where kids are strapped in so they can't even sit up if they wanted to?

I rather enjoy your attempts at humor! Thanks for the laugh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Elbuda - calm down. Murder???

I agree with you Yubaru about leashes (and your comment about coming to old age and having your kids put you on a leash made me laugh out loud and its so true - my parents always jokedont put me in a home let me go if I lose my marbles!! ). Whether keeping them on a leash at home or walking around an urban area, I think it is wierd.

Otherwise, if you are out walking around town with your kid and DO have a leash and for some reason you have to let go for a second or loosen your grip for one second - the child could run off and either run off (into the way of a car/bike whatever) or trip over the long leash and hurt him/herself.

If you choose to use a leash at home and you turn your back, if the child is of a certain size he could move around and get strangled by the leash.

Playpens are mostly gone out of fashion and they could probably climb out of those anyway if big enough (or clever enough) if not get their heads stuck in the bars while messing around in them!!

If you choose not to use a leash around the house, then you can only do your best. Children can escape tight vigilance as openminded pointed out. You only have to turn your back for one second and theyre gone like Houdini!! This probably happened to the parent/guardian in question. Openminded is absolutely right in that parents should not be made guilty for the escapades of their curious kids even if it ends in tragedy. They most likely feel bad enough already. There are so manyperfect parents` on this discussion board.

Even Yubaru who I have been otherwise agreeing with about the leash blamed the parents and yes it is their responsibility to look after their kids - of all ages - but if you have to turn your back or leave the room (say to use the bathroom), the child could just as easily hurt himself in some other way as go out on the road and get hit by a car. Out in the countryside, or even in urban areas, people are more relaxed and probably dont lock their doors because either the handle is high enough that the kid cant reach it or its a sunny day and they want to encourage their kids to go outdoors but be able to come back in again. If this 3 year old got out of his house, he may have been following another child (who isnt mentioned in the article) or aiming to find another child in the area who he knew. Children are adventurous and curious and will take advantage of any chance to go off somewhere.

As for the driver, if the house is hidden from sight by tall trees then a child could just appear suddenly from view, whether the driver is driving along a straight road or not. He was most likely cruising along because he knew the speed he was allowed to go at and saw no reason to go any slower.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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