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4 killed in car-motorbike collision in Gunma

26 Comments

Four people were killed in a collision between a light car and a motorbike in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, on Sunday morning.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 8:35 a.m. at an intersection with no traffic lights on National Route 50. Fuji TV reported that the car was turning right when it was hit by the motorbike coming toward it from the opposite direction. The left side of the car was smashed in by the impact of the bike.

The highway is surrounded by rice fields.

The car burst into flames and the three women passengers in it were killed. Police said the victims -- a woman in her 60s, one in her 30s and the third in her teens -- are believed to be all members of one family. Their names have not yet been released.

The 49-year-old man on the motorbike, Haruyuki Komiya, suffered severe injuries and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said visibility was good at the time of the accident.

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26 Comments
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How horrific! RIP to those killed, and courage and understanding to those families who will have hard, grief-filled days ahead. I know how tragic it is to lose a loved so suddenly.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What were their names

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

zengohan

Does it matter? RIP and condolences to their Families.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Knowing the names, if they're available, in such accidents does sometimes matter to those who see or hear the news.

If one has friends, not-so-close relatives, business associates, etc., who live in the area, it can be a cause of anxiety wondering if it's someone you know, and the bereaved family doesn't always have the time to immediately notify anyone but close family/friends.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I just watched the story on the news, and it's a horrific accident scene looking at the charred vehicles at the intersection. I think National Route 50 is the main highway in that area, because it has four lanes with a grass medium. You should be extra careful pulling out into that kind of highway with no traffic lights, because of the potential speed. RIP to all the unfortunate victims there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Among the dead are three girls/women in their teens, 30s and 60s.

Just now, another wagon accident in Osaka has left 5 people dead. Not a very good Sunday.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As a motorcycle rider in Japan myself, I don't like the way this has been reported/translated. The car wasn't hit by a bike, it was the other way round. If the driver of the car was turning right, the motorcyclist had the right of way. The driver of the car was either careless, or worse.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The wreckage of the vehicle was resting on its side, and the side facing upward had received a large impact. The force of the collision tore the fuel tank off the bike -- I suspect the car was turning onto the main road from a smaller side road; not coming from the opposite direction as reported. Highway 50 is dead straight along there, and it is highly possible the motorcycle was traveling too fast (i.e. over the speed limit).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I saw this on the NHK news tonight and the car was turning right into a narrow road when the bike slammed into its left side. I'd say the bike must have been really speeding. Locals said bikers regularly speed along National Route 50 at that point.

Still, I don't understand why the driver of the car didn't see the bike coming toward her before she turned right. It must have come out of nowhere; hence that's why I think it was speeding.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Brainiac: "I'd say the bike must have been really speeding."

Or the car tried to beat it; you see that all the time, too. Cars pulling out quickly to beat other cars, and far more often scooters and bicycles. I wouldn't be surprised if they saw the bike and decided to gun it instead of waiting. Maybe it was both. In either case, a whole lot of lives lost. RIP.

" It must have come out of nowhere; hence that's why I think it was speeding."

Again, I'm sure the police would have taken this into account, and said so. If the road is flat and visibility good, there is no way the driver of the car would not have seen the bike (if there is a curve in the road or a hill, I can understand, but visibility would not really be 'good' in that case, regardless of weather). The bike may well have been speeding, and the driver of the car could not gauge where it would be when she turned, but the point is that we don't know.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Tragic!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As some of us may have had a beautiful Sunday enjoying with family and friends, or what not..someone out there related to this tragic accident may be grieving more than we can ever imagine. Let us all join in prayers for the poor souls of the ones lost and strength for the families that have to deal with this sadness and grief.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is probably the most common type of accident, when it comes to car vs bike. The bike could have been speeding, or maybe not, either way it's difficult to judge the speed of an oncoming motorbike.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Let us all join in prayers for the poor souls of the ones lost and strength for the families that have to deal with this sadness and grief.

When the sun starts shining the worst drivers possible hit the road, please all be careful

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The light-car driver's carelessness ", I think.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So, what's the scenario? The bike was speeding and the little old lady didn't see him and pulled straight out in front of him? Three generations of one family gone in an instant!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why does everyone think the biker was speeding and want to blame him? As a biker here myself I can tell you that experience has taught me that drivers have no respect for motorcyclists and do tend to make turns thinking that the biker will slow down... or...they fell protected in their cars. Well this story here proves they aren't and it is so tragic. It has gotten to the point that whenever I come to busy crossing and I can see cars waiting to turn right, I slow down because of this very scenario. The other thing to be aware of that really bugs me is the tendency for drivers on the right to make the turn if the driver approaching makes a left turn. very dangerous for bikers behind who overtake the car turning left. The Japanese are so impatient in their cars!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Re:Why does everyone think the biker was speeding and want to blame him?

Perhaps because a good majority of bikers are seen every single day swerving and swooning in and out of traffic, excessive high speed on many occasions, passing on the sides of cars, then swerving through in front of others again and again and yet again...the car tries to make a safe turn only to be smashed into by a high speed cyclist. perhaps that is the tale of the tape....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@above Yeah...scooters maybe

properly trained motorcyclists... no way hose!!

Trained means we know the risks and perhaps with the odd exception ride accordingly.

Scooters...we any idiot can get on one of them.

....and they do!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Clueless, that is a huge generalization about motorcyclists. From what you state and what I see you would fall into a category of less than 1% of the motorcyclists.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Sorry Dis..but to ride a large bike in Japan you must pass what is a very demanding exam and practical test that teaches may things including proper road positioning and safe riding. Anybody can jump on a scooter. There are exceptions as I said...generally youngsters who probably aren't legal anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@clueless Here's a clue for you, a bike driving at normal speed would not easily push a car on it's side, would it?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Newslover

A wet bike (fuelled up) can be in excess of 250kg and the rider perhaps up to 100kg

that's 350kg of kinetic energy going through the front wheel.

Trust me dude...that is more than enough to push a small car over. certainly to cause a fire if the bike or car tank is ruptured.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agree with clueless. My CB750C had a dry weight on 250kg most of it engine block and Frame.

Seen a side in collision where the bike went through a car and stopped in the passenger seat after cutting the drivers legs off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At 50 km/h?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps because a good majority of bikers are seen every single day swerving and swooning in and out of traffic, excessive high speed on many occasions, passing on the sides of cars, then swerving through in front of others again and again and yet again...the car tries to make a safe turn only to be smashed into by a high speed cyclist. perhaps that is the tale of the tape....

Since you're stereotyping, I will do the same. 49 year-old motorbike riders tend not to ride the way you're describing. They've lasted this long by riding safe. I'll go a step further, and say a bunch of women in a car, tend not to have their sole focus on driving.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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