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5-yr-old girl dies after falling out of car and being run over in driveway at Tochigi home

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A 5-year-old girl fell out of her mother's car as it was leaving the driveway of their home in Nasushiobara, Tochigi Prefecture, on Wednesday, and died after she was run over by the back tire of the car, police said.

According to police, the accident happened at about 7:50 a.m. The child's mother, Hitomi Yamasaki, 35, was leaving home to take her eldest daughter Sawa, 5, her eldest son, 9, and her second daughter, 1, to school and kindergarten when Sawa fell out of the car. Her torso was run over by the back tire and she was killed. The other children were unharmed. The 1-year-old girl was in a child seat, but Sawa was not, police said.

Police said they are still investigating the cause of the accident, but early speculation is that the rear passenger door may not have been properly closed before the accident occurred.

© Compiled from news reports

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The cause of this accident was the mothers carelessness, not having buckled this little 5 year old into a safety seat.

No need for further investigation - if the kid was in a proper child seat with the belt done up she wouldnt have fallen out of the car and got run over . Slap the mother twice!!

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I am guessing no child safety seat. I see kids standing in the front seat all the time. It is just pure stupidity and stubborness that these people don't follow common recommendations.

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Police said they are still investigating the cause of the accident, but early speculation is that the rear passenger door may not have been properly closed before the accident occurred.

The main cause would have been the seatbelt not being worn not the door. If the door was open and the girl was strapped in she wouldn`t have moved. Then again the girl could have released the belt on her own. Sad story. But the mother is responsible and of course there will be no disciplinary action because she has two other kids and will be expected to raise them.

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Gee, awful story. This mother will be distressed for the rest of her life. They ought to keep her on 24-hour suicide watch for the next while and at the same time push this story to front page of every news program.

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Wow that is terrible.

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on top of seatbelt, it is absolutely necessary to use the child-safety lock that is on the back door of every car in japan so that kids cannot open the door from inside.. even if the kids are buckled up, it'd be dangerous if they accidentally opened the door, so... seat belt, car seat and child-safety lock!!!!!

the mother must be sad and sorry, and guess what.. SHE SHOULD BE!!!

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So tragic. Probably the fault is the parent not strapping the kid in, and this time the door fell open. It is amazing how many kids are free to walk around cars, and even how many baby seats I see in front passenger seats facing forwards. That all said, I just cant bring myself to be harsh on this mother, she and the family have just been destroyed.

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according to the j-news, the door was not properly shut when the mother started up the car.. my question is, when the door opened and the girl fell out, why did the mother not stop immediately? this didn't happen while the mother was driving on the road, it happened when the mother was starting to drive and they were still in the front yard.. why didn't the mom stop???

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If only common sense and child safety were prevalent, this tragic, tragic death WOULD have been avoided. Why are so many parents oblivious to the obvious when it comes to child safety. I feel sorry for this mother, and at the same time I want to smack her in the face for being so stupid.

I also blame the police (were is the deterrent)? Nationally, they must see thousands of cars and MPV's everyday with kids treating them like a playground (i.e. not wearing seat-belts) yet the 'Keystones' as we all know, choose to ignore the DANGEROUS parents. Why is that?

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R.I.P. little Sawa-chan. Such a terrible tragedy. When watching over infants one needs eyes in the back of their head. Still, whenever my family goes for a drive the key doesn't go in the ignition until I have confirmed that everyone is strapped in (including my kids in their child seats) with the doors shut.

Unfortunately when I related this sad story my Japanese coworkers this morning they could only mutter "Kowaiso" and "Shoganai"

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poor kid. mother learnt the hard way that she's an idiot

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my question is, when the door opened and the girl fell out, why did the mother not stop immediately?

Well fishy, it's pretty unlikely that she noticed her daughter fall out and then decided to deliberately drive over her, so it's most likely one of the following if not both:

a) it would take lightning-quick reflexes to stop a car the very millisecond you noticed something amiss, even if the speed was very low a car will still move half a metre or so after you take your foot off the accelerator and that is all it would have taken to go over her daughter's body.

b) she was distracted by one of the other two children and did not notice her daughter had fallen out until too late, and as above, that would have only needed a half-second delay.

Both of the above scenarios are far more likely than her driving over her daughter on purpose, which is what you seem to be suggesting she might have done.

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Yesterday I didn't buckle up our 4month old baby to drive from the hospital a few 100 meters to pic up the medicine, wife was holding her in her lap in the back seat. But reading this gives me a bad feeling about it, guess I won't do it again, just need to remember this story next time such situation comes up!

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Seat belts is my only comment here! RIP little one.

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Makes me relieved that this will never happen in my family. My kids KNOW to put on their seat belt when they get into a car. If they don't have it on when the car starts moving they scream "Wait!"

Japan has a seatbelt law for kids. I still cannot understand why it is not strictly enforced.

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Too many people here in Japan treat their car as a playground for the children. I'm not surprised not to hear of more child/seatbelt related accidents. When will this country wake up to the dangers? When will the government subscribe to a shock advertising campaign as the UK did many years ago!

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Both of the above scenarios are far more likely than her driving over her daughter on purpose, which is what you seem to be suggesting she might have done.

no no, i wasn't suggesting that she did it on purpose.. i was just wondering why she couldn't have stopped...

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A 5 year old can not normally use the seatbelt without proper support (height raising special pillow or seat). Also, even if properly fastened by the mother, they can easily unfasten the belts (while playing) and get into trouble.

In my opinion, the best way to teach children the importance of belts is to scare them by braking the car to the limit (activate the ABS). Nothing will happen but they will slam in the from seats (harmless but very scary for a child). It's surely an experience to be remembered, and they will hopefully think twice before trying to unfasten the belts next time...

RIP little girls and condolences to the family..

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fishy, I doubt the mom realized the door opened and her child fell out. I mean certainly she would have stopped if she had realized either case. Also this probably happened very quickly as the car was moving so even if she realized it, it may have been too late. I think this is purely an unforunate accident that the mom will regret and be haunted by for the rest of her life. I actually feel very sorry for the mom. She has enough guilt so beating her over the head with it is useless.

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I bet all the westerners who hear about this are angry becasue ALL of us. 100% of all of us know this should have never EVER happened. how does a 5 year old out of car if you are even just BARELY trying. do I need to list the things. child seat. nope. seat belt. nope. window locks. nope. window closed near small child. nope. stop the car when human being fall out. nope. Japanese people: "ohhhh... thats said. I wonder how that could ever have happenend"

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I don't drive much here in Japan, but when we go to the wife's family house I'll do the driving and I notice many times small kids right up on the dashboard, sometimes with a parent on the phone in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I see kids with their heads out the windows, standing up and sticking heads out of the roofs... A law is one thing, I'm starting to believe common sense isn't so common when it comes to driving in Japan

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How could she have possibly fallen out and been killed if she was in a child-seat or had a seat belt... oh wait, she didn't.

"Police said they are still investigating the cause of the accident..."

I'd say extreme neglect of the law, resulting in death, for starters, but we know how the police operate here, and probably no charges will be laid. It's such a shame that the poor little girl was born to such an inept and utterly stupid mother. RIP, little one. I'd say I hope the mother does some time, but we all know she won't face any charges.

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Rip, lil one. Unfortunate accident. Avoidable most likely.

From the CG recreation she slid feet-first under the car. I would think that the other kids would have alerted the mother but by that time the car would already have rolled over here.

Not sure how accurate the CG was but it showed a car with large sliding door and she dropped right in front of the tire.

Why some posers are saying why didn't the mother stop, we are talking a very short time-frame here in which it happened. Unless they assume that the mother drove off into the road and further on.

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Oh yes, those sliding-doors...every new car has them automatic-powered, push a button on your "key" and it opens conveniently while you are still 5 meters away and your kid will happily run ahead without looking right or left and jump in, then slide the door which shuts again motor-powered. Problem is it makes it even easier to forget to check on the parents side, esp. when they don't strap their child in and/or are occupied with annother one...I could say the voice from the navi should warn "door not closed" and block any atempt to start the car...but the point is automatic systems might make it more convenient to use the car, but they cannot take over the responsibility of the driver. On the contrary, they make it easier to forget...

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Japan being a very safety conscious country I am surprised how often you see parents with kids on lap in rear and front seat of cars. A 30mph impact a 10kg child would weigh 150kg as deceleration would be 15g, there is no way you going to hold onto that child. That child is likely to go through the front screen. I spent years doing crash testing on vehicle child seats and seat belts. Buckle Up!!!!! And use child door locks on the rear doors so can’t be opened from inside. Some people just not aware that there is a small toggle level on rear doors preventing door from being opened from inside it is there for safety use it with children.

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So sad...parents think that they are only going a short distance so they don't have to worry about buckling up but most accidents happen near the home. Parents should make sure their children are ALWAYS wearing seat belts or in a child seat. Poor girl.

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How do you fall out of a car with your seatbelts on or in a car seat? How does a door open with the child door locks on? Why do car have all these nice safety things? FOR YOU TO USE!!!

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It is a little unsettling that not long ago on JT we had an article about child seats and in the debate that ensued I described a very similar accident that happened next to my place (the child survived but is handicapped now).

This was an avoidable tragedy, child seats and booster seats have been mandatory in Japan for some time now up to a certain age, height and weight, child locks for door and widows were on every car I have ever had in Japan for more than 19 years and to my knowledge are on every car.

Since I had children it was commonsense to use the child proof lock and to lock the widows from day one.

The present generation has no excuse not to have children in child seats and booster seats or using the safety locks because the law has been in effect for long enough that today's young children should have been in those seats since the moment they left the hospital.

My eldest is almost 16 and when she was born I bought a infants seat here in Japan for under ¥7,500 (brought her home from the hospital in it) and I know prices have dropped since, and by the time my son was born booster seats were available for as low as ¥2,500 anyone saying they are not easily available or to expensive are fools and bigger fools if they are not using them.

If you have the money to own a car in Japan then you have the money to by a simple booster seat and a simple child seat. (no need to buy the fancy swivel, reclining, etc.. types)

This woman failed as a mother it is that plain and that simple.

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How is this an accident this was a crime? The lack of parent skills and common sense. So Japan does not have laws to protect children?

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From what I got from TV.

All 3 kids were in the backseat, center was the 1yr old in child-seat, 9yr+5yr old sitting next to the doors. From the time of day It guess it was a routine trip to drop them off for the day.

Waiting for more news before I form a concrete opinion. Unfortunately JT does not do follow up on reported news items, so off to TV-news and newspapers.

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Takuma7.

An accident is something that happens often due to neglect/oversight/etc, a crime is an action done with Intent to cause a desired result.

If it was a crime than the mother orchestrated it all to injure/harm her daughter. That the case?

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yes she did not put her in a car seat or put the seatbelts on the kids. crime!

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Takunma7.

Great you got ALL the facts that no-one else has. Kudos, we don't need the police, Investigators, etc all we need is you Judge, Jury and Executioner.

At most she is can be had on "criminal neglect" and that hasn't been shown yet.

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Zenny11:"All 3 kids were in the backseat, center was the 1yr old in child-seat, 9yr+5yr old sitting next to the doors. From the time of day It guess it was a routine trip to drop them off for the day."

2 ¥2,500 booster seats and seatbelts tied by the mother would have avoided this even if the door had opened.

And from my own experience once the seatbelt is tied around a booster seat it is not that easy to reach the clasp and unlock it, so anyone that says something stupid like the children can still get out of it have never really used one, sure they can get out but it is not that simple.

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Limbo.

I don't have the facts what was installed in the car, etc. Who here has?

And ,yes, I have used a booster-seat for my son when we visited friends, etc.

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Takuma7 & Zenny11

If my understanding of Japan's road traffic laws are correct the driver is almost always responsible and I am guessing that in the end the mother will be charged with professional negligence no mater what the circumstances are.

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Limbo.

I agree, never said that she shouldn't be charged.

Just against the guys/gals that crucify everyone they feel like here. Same way it is my opinion that people should learn the meaning of some terms they throw around. Especially when it comes down to legal terminology.

Ex.: Many her like most lay-man got no understanding of the TRUE legal meaning of Crime and Self-Defense.

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Sorry these people need some common sense class.

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This is just so sad... especially that this mother has 2 other children and the older one will always remember this considering her age (9years old), and I don't know if the father of these children will ever be able to look at this mother like the way he used to.. this can lead the whole family to break up and the mother will spend the rest of her life with guilt.. and it is just so so so sad...

I wish there were more and more police officers on the street stopping and checking in more cars to see if there are kids inside, if they are sitting in the carseats, if the parents are using child-proof locks on the doors...

I've seen really decent Japanese parents who don't take seat belts/carseats seriously... Nice people who love their kids but don't realize the importance of the seat belts/carseats.. News like this really need to be reported widely AGAIN AND AGAIN TO REMIND PEOPLE WHAT CAN HAPPEN AND THIS CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE WHO DON'T TAKE SEATBELTS/CARSEATS SERIOUSLY...

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Terrible accident. I really feel for the mom, who will have to live with that forever. God give her the strength to carry on. RIP, young girl. Really sad.

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I cant believe the ppl who are calling this a crime. A crime is an intentional act to hurt or rob another person. This mother has 2 other children that need her. Do you just want to rip the mom from them and throw her in jail? I seriously doubt she did this on purpose and Id guess she feels enormous guilt that she will live with till she dies. And I bet she will obcessively check her other childrens seat belts and doors from now on IF she even drives again. Her other children need her. I think Japanese moms just dont realize the risk. It has just recently become a law to put children in seatbelts so many dont get it. I had a muslim friend who thought I was cruel because I wouldnt take my crying baby out of a car seat. She told me I should trust Allah so I would not need a baby seat that makes my baby cry. She said no one in her country straps babies down like that! When people have not grown up using seat belts and car seats they really don`t understand the risks. Most Japanese grew up never using car seats and seat belts with children so it has not been engrained in the culture yet, but more incidents like this should start waking people up. And really when someone gets a drivers license/renewal and has to sit through that video, it should show a clip of what happens to children not properly secured in their seats. Part of the problem is the population has not been well educated on the dangers. More news and variety shows should focus on this problem too. It is a problem of lack of education not a problem of a criminally minded mom.

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This is definitly very sad. I can't believe that something like this would hppen so easily with all the safety features we have on modern day cars. I hope Sawa is resting peacefully. And, to parents, BUCKLE YOUR CHILDREN TO THE SEAT!!!!!!!

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Mother is backing the car. Girl falls out of car when the rear passenger door opens. Girl is run over by the REAR tire?!

If the car is moving backwards and you fall out, you're at risk of getting run over by the FRONT tire, but the rear? Also when you fall out you generally don't land somewhere wher the tire can run over your torso.

I have NO inside information on this accident, but it seems to me the following is plausible:

a. Family is late and mom is in a hurry. She quickly backs out onto the street, stops quickly and - not noticing that the rear door has opened - puts it into drive and turns the wheel to align with the street. As she starts forward, the car hits a bump.

b. Child had a hand or bag near the door handle and when the car abruptly stopped its backward motion, the hand or bag caught on the door latch and the door opened. Child falls out. Because the car's wheel was turned, as the car started forward, the rear tire tracked around to where the girl had fallen.

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Where is the evidence that the car was backing up? Most japanese park front to the street.

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7777777:"And really when someone gets a drivers license/renewal and has to sit through that video, it should show a clip of what happens to children not properly secured in their seats. Part of the problem is the population has not been well educated on the dangers."

I don't know if you drive but for the past several year every time I have had to renew my drivers license in Japan I have had to sit through a video that shows what happens when children are not tied in or in safety seats as well as drinking and driving, speeding, etc...

So when I went last year it also had the part that said that young children now need to wear safety helmets when riding a bicycle.

So in the case of people in cars and that drive THERE IS NO EXCUSE in not having a child seat or booster seat to say that this woman did not know is BS she could not have renewed her license without watching the video and receiving all the new regulations given in written form to each driver who is renewing their license.

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Where is the evidence that the car was backing up? Most japanese park front to the street.

It's right... wait... Someone OBVIOUSLY changed the article since I read it. :-/ (sigh) It's times like this I wish we were allowed to delete our previous posts. Gomenasai!

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Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority (via mechanisms such as legal systems) can ultimately prescribe a conviction. per wiki She did not follow the rules and laws by not having the kids in a car seat or wearing seatbelts. Only way people are going to learn is to enforce the laws.

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"Takuma7 at 05:27 AM JST - 14th January Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority (via mechanisms such as legal systems) can ultimately prescribe a conviction. per wiki She did not follow the rules and laws by not having the kids in a car seat or wearing seatbelts. Only way people are going to learn is to enforce the laws."

There is no law broken here - it's not required by law to wear seat belts in the back seat.

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bcbrownboy:"There is no law broken here - it's not required by law to wear seat belts in the back seat."

You had better check you laws.

It has been the law since June 2008 for all occupants to wear seatbelts for some time now in Japan front and back.

It has also been the law (since 2000 ) for children to either be in a child seat or booster seat up to a certain age (6 years old) and or height and weight.

These have been in effect for some time now

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charge her. people need to be fined and jailed for not following the child seat law. pure common sence in a country that lacks both. car seats are a western idea. i.e. they aren't used.

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i wonder how many parents know what will happen to a kid in a booster seat sitting in the front when that airbag goes off... splat!

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saru_au:"i wonder how many parents know what will happen to a kid in a booster seat sitting in the front when that airbag goes off... splat!"

Anyone that doesn't know is a moron and shouldn't have a license and perhaps not even children seeing that there are nice big stickers on the side of the seats that state that fact as well as on the sun visor in every car and has been pointed out in the video they must watch when renewing their drivers license since 2000.

Again I will state this there is NO EXCUSE for not having child seats or booster seats and properly using them in the back seat or having the children wearing seatbelts, it is the LAW and has been well publicized, anyone driving who says they didn't know this is either lying or so stupid that I would be scared they are even driving.

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saru au-

i wonder how many parents know what will happen to a kid in a booster seat sitting in the front when that airbag goes off... splat!

i think most parents/people can easily guess.. the problem is that most people think it won't happen to them..

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i wonder how many parents know what will happen to a kid in a booster seat sitting in the front when that airbag goes off... splat!

Sorry I am a bit confused here - I know that a BABY seat shouldnt be used rear-facing in the front seat because the force of the airbag can (literally) knock its block off (excuse my frankness but there is no nice way to say it) but are you saying that even a child in a booster seat, say a 7 year old, sitting front-facing in the front seat is at risk of death from an airbag going off in an accident? Doesn`t that then mean that an adult (who would be not far off the same head-height as a booster seated child) is also at risk of serious injury?

I am not trying to flame here or anything-I honestly didn`t know there was a risk or what that risk is, so can you just explain it? Thx

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I should add before anyone calls me a moron that my kids DON`T ride like that-they are always in the back seat!

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miamum-

i think what he meant was a baby seat (not booster seat) installed in the front seat..

and YES! kids in the back seat is my rule, too! my older one is old enough that he doesn't need a carseat/booster seat, but he still sits in the back seat with a seat belt on behind the driver's seat. that is just because it is supposed to be the safest seat.. if I knock off something and the car crashes, I'd be his wall while sitting in the passenger seat wouldn't help him being protected.

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miamum:"I should add before anyone calls me a moron that my kids DON`T ride like that-they are always in the back seat!"

Single father, 2 children, they don't make the rules!

I make the rules and the government makes rules not the children so unless they want to walk it's the back seat!

And for those asking about booster seats in the front READ THE INSTRUCTION and the rules concerning air bags, no booster seats or children under a certain height in the front seat equipped with an air bag! (this also applies to very small adults but in this case it is not past of the law)

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"not past of the law" should read "not part of the law"

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Thanks Fishy

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Hrm, the accident happened while she still was on private property. Last I checked traffic cops got very little juristiction(sic) there.

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I'm sorry to hear that. In my opinion, it's the mother's fault. I blame her for her lack of responsibility.

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Establish the law that mandates the drivers to fasten the seatbelts for all passengers and the child-seats for the infants under the age 6.

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Wow people are quick to blame the mother here. Obviously none of you have children. My 2 1/2 year old can wriggle out of her car set if she's in a bad mood, and it's pretty clear to any parent here that the 5-year-old here didn't want to be in the car, and was probably fighting with her mother about going to school, which is why she got out of the car and ended up behind it. When you're trying to watch 3 children, plus driving it's quite conceivable that a fast and upset 5-year-old could dart out the door and behind the car before you notice or have a chance to react. The absence of a car set really is immaterial since she could easily have gotten out of it, probably while the mother was busy strapping in the 1-year old and the other child.

This is just a tragic accident, and the efforts by people here to blame the mother are unfair and unkind. Maybe one day you'll have children (but I hope not) and you'll realise that accidents happen, and children are little PEOPLE, not robots that parents have complete control over.

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Have kids and they don't get out of the car seats and they can't open the doors (child locks are on). If your kids are geeting out of their carseat, please read the book that came with your carsear for your not using it right.

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Frungy-

I have small kids, and I understand that kids CAN get out of carseat or unfasten seatbelt, AND THAT IS WHY IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE YOU USE CHILD PROOF LOCK ON THE DOOR. My toddler can reach the door even when she's sitting in the carsat, and she is too young to really undrestand what'd happen if she opened the door while car is moving, so I use child proof lock on the door so that she can touch the door and can try to open but cannot actually open.

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Frungy.

The girl fell out of the car & slid under it in front of the rear-tire while the car was moving FORWARD.

She didn't volunterally exit the car and walk behind it. Child locks only work if the sliding door is fully closed and they can engage.

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I don't get how she got underneath the car. If it was moving forward and she got underneath means that she crawled underneath the car, right? When you fall out, you usually fall outside the range of the tires, not so that half your body is underneath. This seems really odd to me.

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Takuma7 - I have read the manual, and it is still possible to escape the harness if you first wriggle off the shoulder-straps one at a time then slide out of the bottom harness. I'm not the only one who has this problem, I went looking for a possible answer on a parents' forum and there were many other parents who had a similar problem.

Fishy - Yes, a child-proof lock is important, as is a window lock to stop them climbing out the windows, as is checking to see that the door is actually locked and hasn't been obstructed by a dropped toy or something similar (as Zenny11 pointed out). There are lots of things to check, and it's clear the mother didn't check them all. She's human and on a busy morning she made a mistake, but she's not a murderess as most people here imply and she certainly didn't deserve this tragedy.

HermoineGranger - Not necessarily. Remember it's winter now and snow or ice could have caused her to slip and fall while stepping or jumping out of the car (it's a big jump for a 5-year-old), and slide or roll under the tyres. There's nothing odd about that scenario.

Like I said before, people here seem intent on making this the mother's fault. It's just human nature, the "just world" bias. You can't understand a world in which something like this would happen to a little child by chance so you want someone to blame, someone who's fault it is. The bottom line is that accidents happen, and while you can spread blame around as much as you like it's often not any one person's fault, but rather a combination of actions and events that make it impossible to say, "You caused this". The mother didn't cause this accident. Her actions may have contributed to it, but none of them in isolation or combination amount to an intent to kill her daughter.

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As is said before "Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority (via mechanisms such as legal systems) can ultimately prescribe a conviction. per wiki She did not follow the rules and laws by not having the kids in a car seat or wearing seatbelts".

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Per wiki;An accident is a specific, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects.

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Takuma7, point out where in the article exactly it says she didn't have the child in a car seat. All it says is, "The 1-year-old girl was in a child seat, but Sawa was not, police said.". Since Sawa wasn't in the car this is pretty self-evident. It doesn't mean that there wasn't a booster seat or that the mother didn't try to secure Sawa with a seatbelt.

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Says right here "girl fell out of her mother’s car"

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@seawolf you posted this: "Yesterday I didn't buckle up our 4month old baby to drive from the hospital a few 100 meters to pic up the medicine, wife was holding her in her lap in the back seat. But reading this gives me a bad feeling about it, guess I won't do it again, just need to remember this story next time such situation comes up!" I am glad you came to your senses. you do realize the majority of accidents happen withing less than 2 miles of your house. I put on my seat belt when I drive around the conrer to family mart. I never get over 20kmh, and it probably 99 meters away. what would you do if ANOTHER car hit you. doesnt matter how safe YOU drive, when you dont buckle up yourself or you child you are putting your babies safety in the hands of EVERY OTHER driver out there.

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Takuma7 at 07:42 PM JST - 17th January Says right here "girl fell out of her mother’s car"

And if one is standing on the lip of the car door and one falls one has still fallen out of the car. The line you quote says nothing at all about whether any efforts were made to secure the child prior to this, nor does it actually state that the door swing open and the child fell out because she hadn't been secured. You are merely reading what you want to see, and this is because, as I pointed out earlier, the "just world" bias makes you want it to be the mother's fault because that's easier to understand than it being an accident, or worse yet that it could be the child's fault for trying to leave the car (the bias against blaming the dead is also very strong).

Face it, if a car is moving straight forwards of backwards then even if the door swung open the child wouldn't fall out. If the car was, for example, swinging right and the child was sitting on the left then the direction of the force would be pushing her further into the car. If the car was swinging right and the child was sitting on the right then the direction of the force could push her out of the car, but the rear wheels would be moving away from where the child was, making it highly unlikely that the child would be crushed by them.

The only possible scenario in which the child could be crushed is where the child is already standing in the car doorway, jumps or falls, lands badly and slips under the tyres.

Think it through slowly, play out each of the scenarios taking into account the direction of force, the movement and relative position of the car and the child and you'll be forced to come to the same conclusion.

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Frungy-

nor does it actually state that the door swing open and the child fell out because she hadn't been secured

According to Sankei news, the girl was sitting in the car with her 2 siblings when the right side of the rear sliding door opened because it wasn't properly shut and she fell out of the car. The mother heard the sound of the sliding door open and stopped the car, stepped outside and found the girl on the ground by the rear tire.

I agree with you that it is such a work to get 3 kids ready for school/daycare and get out of the house on time, put them in a car (sometimes they don't want to and they fight).. it can be difficult depending on the kids' mood and etc (I know this because my morning is like that, too), and I do NOT think this was a crime at all but rather the mother was not careful enough and I feel so sorry for the mother and the rest of the family members. The mother will probably live with guilt for the rest of her life and she still has 2 other kids to raise.. It was a tragedy but if anyone asked me if this accident was avoidable, I would have to say yes. If the mother double checked that all the doors were properly shut, all children buckled up and etc...

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Agree with Fishy and accident and tragedy.

Maybe the mother told the kids(5&9) get in and close the doors, while she got the car started, 5yr old might not have had the strength to close the door fully before buckling up.

One of the worst words that a parent can hear during the morning rush is "Mama/Papa Unchi", because you know it will be a big delay and rush to get things done on time. This usually happens 2-3 minutes before leaving.

Further agree with fishy that the mother should have checked and can be had neglicence on that part.

Not just her guilt she will also have to live with the possible blame from her husband and that can ruin the marriage and family.

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Zenny-

Not just her guilt she will also have to live with the possible blame from her husband and that can ruin the marriage and family

This is what came on my mind, too (and in fact, I mentioned this in one of my posts earlier)...

One of the worst words that a parent can hear during the morning rush is "Mama/Papa Unchi", because you know it will be a big delay and rush to get things done on time. This usually happens 2-3 minutes before leaving

Right... Poopoo in the morning is a nightmare (Grrrr...)... while I am all ready to go but just waiting for my little one to finish in the bathroom, I keep looking at the clock but she's taking her time, but I can't just pull her out of the bathroom because I don't want her to poopoo in the pants while driving... so, yeah, the morning can be crazy. One might say get up early and get ready, but I don't know why, kids poopoo comes when you are just about to get out of the door (ugh!!!!).

Anyways, like I said before, I DO understand how crazy the mornings with little kids can be... but still.. So sad.

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Im with Fishy and Zenny who are very obviously parents - and like me experience the morning "unchi" phenomenon with irritating frequency - (like TWICE this morning???! What IS that??! Its like they are an unchi relay team or something??!)

I dont think ANYONE is calling the mother a "murderess" as someone said - it was obviously an accident, and yes she was probably negligent but as others have rightly pointed out will have to live with that for the rest of her life. She may well get blamed by her husband too - who if he is anything like most J husbands I know wouldnt be capable of getting 3 kids out the door, into the car and off to school anyway. A very sad way to learn a hard lesson.

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very sad and painful way to go. poor thing. both mum and big brother must be so distraught now.

i wonder how old the car was. most cars usually have indicators to show that one of the car doors is not shut properly. perhaps the child opened the door?

whatever the case, a small girl died unnecessarily. laying blame helps no-one. teaching parents of 'younguns' safe driving habits (ie.buckling kids up, using childlocks, etc.) would help prevent more accidents.

RIP little one.

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There is NOTHING in Tochigi, so few people live there and everyone in their town must know who is responsible for this horrible, horrible 120% PREVENTABLE accident. RIP little 5 year old girl and may all the responsible adults one day burn in hell for all of eternity!

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There is NOTHING in Tochigi, so few people live there

Tochigi is actually a very nice place to live.

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My daughter justed turned 5 today .... I couldn't imagine her gone. RIP little one. It's a sad tragic way to go ... a life unfullfilled.

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Car Seat Law: Those who drive a car with a child younger than 6 years old must have a child seat. Failure to do so will result in deduction of 1 driver's license point (same penalty for not wearing a seat belt). Exceptions:

A car in which a child seat cannot be installed for structural reasons A car in which a child seat cannot be installed because of full capacity of passengers When a child is being taken care of (being fed, etc.) When riding on public transportation
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to ebisen, you said, A 5 year old can not normally use the seatbelt without proper support (height raising special pillow or seat) Well, My 3rd son has just turned 5 and he can strap himself in no problems and he uses a booster seat as well. I guess it depends on what you as a parent think is important to teach your children. Start young and they soon learn, I don't think 5 year olds in my home country have any problems as well. It's just not part of the Japanese lifestyle to strap kids in, I still can't get my wife to enforce it when I'm not around. We can only do our best.

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