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5-year-old girl run over by truck while cycling in Toyama

30 Comments

Police said Monday that a 5-year-old girl sustained a fractured skull after she was run over by a truck at an intersection in Nyuzen, Toyama Prefecture.

According to police, the girl was riding her bicycle home from nursery school on Sunday morning when the incident occurred. Fuji TV quoted police as saying that the accident happened on a rural road with good visibility, but no traffic signals or pedestrian crossings. The girl was crossing the intersection when a truck turned left and hit her.

The victim was taken to hospital, where doctors say her injuries include a fractured skull. She remained in a critical condition on Monday.

Police say they are currently questioning the 52-year-old driver of the truck.

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30 Comments
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If it's true the truck 'turned left and hit her' then it's 100% the driver's fault, despite being a rural road with no signals or clearly marked crossings. Poor little girl. RIP.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Smith, she isn't dead yet, and I hope she makes it!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

No helmet, of course!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

parents must be more cautious with the increasing of such incidents

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No helmet, of course!

I doubt a helmet would have helped in that situation.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

No helmet, and no parents either by the sound of it??

I see SO many kids at age 4,5,6 who are out on bikes or playing without any supervision.

Plus ... what was a kid doing at nursery school on a sunday?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

My 5 year old child would not be riding a bicycle without me right there with her. Too young if you ask me. Poor thing...hurry up and recover, the world needs you!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

What a horror for everyone involved.

Trucks turning left are lethal, as they have a huge blind spot, and have caused many cyclist deaths in London.

Some rental trucks here now have a back camera monitor replacing the rear view mirror, and audible left-turn warnings for other road users, which makes them a bit safer, but still potentially lethal.

Once again, road safety awareness and education cannot be emphasized highly enough, as it appears very lacking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I doubt a helmet would have helped in that situation.

Really? You don't think a helmet could have prevented her from receiving a fractured skull? That's quite an odd opinion considering that is what the helmets are designed to do. Helmets were made compulsory for children under 13 years old from July 2008, not that anyone would notice. Hopefully, this little girl will recover, but I doubt if her parents will make her wear a helmet.

Also, I agree a 5 year old should not be riding a bicycle on a street unsupervised, but the article does state it was in a rural area so there is probably a lot less traffic, except for careless truck drivers, of course.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

obviously turned without looking but if his truck is way high, his visibility of something small and low would be poor...blame adult supervision

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Pause for a moment and sketch this scenario out on a piece of paper.

The truck is going straight on road A. The cyclist is cycling parallel to the truck on road A, in the truck's blind spot on the left.

The cyclist continues straight parallel to road A, crossing road B. The cyclist is in the truck's blind spot the whole way, being below the mirror level, and too close to the truck. The truck presumably indicates and starts to turn left, across the cyclist's path, and strikes the cyclist whilst she is crossing road B.

This is a straight forward problem with all trucks, they lack any visibility of their blindspot on their left side. In a car you'd simply turn your head and look through your rear left window, but that isn't an option in a truck, where the cab blocks that angle. Special mirrors only help a little with trucks, and there's still a large blindspot.

They need to legislate that all trucks have cameras mounted to show the blind-spots.

That being said, this truck driver should have been aware of his blind-spots and slowed down and indicated his intention to turn well in advance. In all fairness though, we have no way of knowing if he didn't do all the right things and still fail to see the girl because of the blindspots inherent in every truck.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Any helment?? Look, there are some jerk drivers out there but since my husband was hit a "cyclist" this weekend (uni student on the sidewalk, in the rain, umbrella, no helmet who came flying down a hit and ran into our stopped car) I can tell you that regardless of who is really at fault here, the driver will be blamed. THIS is why cyclist - and pedestrians - behave the way they do. ZERO responsibility. For all we know this kid could have biked out AFTER this guy started turning. The driver could have no been paying attention. Various things that could have led to that but let's all agree that a) bike safety here is pathetic, b) always blaming the driver is pathetic c) driving safety here is pathetic.

And shall we ask if there was a parent with her? Doesn't sound it as they usually mention it. If there was not, let's add crap parenting to my list of things to agree on.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

5 is a bit young to be riding alone...hope she pulls through

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What kind of idiot parents let a 5 year old ride a bike by themselves??? Idiots!! Poor little girl!!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

OMG.... So sad... God bless her little heart... Hang in there little one....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I am often scared by the parents here in Tokyo who ride bikes with really small children; sometimes on the narrow sidewalk, sometimes on the road, either on the left or the right side. The little kids are often still really wobbly on their bicycles, the parent cycling behind them can hardly do anything to prevent an accident.

Maybe the truck driver was careless, but sure as hell a 5-year old is too small to ride a bicylcle in traffic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

OMG what is a 5-year-old doing riding a bicycle home from NUSERY school - apparently alone? God bless and I hope she gets better and I hope the parents have to answer for this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good grief, hate reading about things like this. Lets not paint with a broad brush, People are always eager to blame the driver right away. But sometimes it takes two to tango, and with out seeing the actual scene, it's hard to pass judgement on what really happened. Regardless of how many bad drivers, or careless cyclists there are. Always hated how many in Japan let too many little children be independent when clearly there is too much danger lurking around.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Where the hell can children ride a bicycle??

From all above comments criticizing children and careless parents, I suggest to prohibit the sale of bicycles smaller than 24 inches.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Honestly, its both faults, for one when i was a kid i ALWAYS looked around for cars, and Two yeah that driver should have seen her no doubt.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Forget about turning left. I've had cars turn right when the pedestrian lights are green. I'm already half way cross the road and the driver still refuses to let me pass. Last time it happened I was carrying a bag of weights (for weight training) and I was very tempted to smash the bag into the side of car as it passed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

who the heck lets their 5y/o ride her bike to and from preschool alone?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

fractured skull could be prevented. shes still alive. she wasnt crush by the truck or run over.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

heck lets their 5y/o ride her bike to and from preschool alone?

Dunno. This is Japan so parents feel safer about their kids being alone. But a bicycle on public streets? No way a 5 y/o can be expected to have the judgement necessary to make that safe, IMHO. Hope she pulls through. I wonder if she was wearing a helmet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I never heard of a "nursery school" or a kindergarten letting children go home by themselves. Usually someone has to pick them up or they used to take the kids home. And, a helmet would have helped.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Crap parenting? Really? This has gone on foe ages in Japan and its usually OK. Stuff like this does happen though. Just because something isnt normal for you doesn't mean it isn't in another country. I wish my daughter could ride a bike or walk home like Japanese kids do with little to no fear of some sicko grabbing her up like in Japan

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ka-chan - Ive never heard of a nursery school or kindergarten being open on a sunday..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Crap parenting? Really? This has gone on foe ages in Japan and its usually OK.

Thats not entirely true. Japanese parents generally believe starting elementary school is the "cut off" point where suddenly a child can miraculously fend for themselves on the street. That is age 6. This child was age 5 and so not even in elementary school yet. Before that time, parents usually collect their children from school themselves. This child still falls into that category, so I am sure most Japanese would also consider this to be pretty bad parenting.

The only exception seems to be when you put a 7 year old on the street in charge of their younger sibling. Then it seems to be ok for them to be out without a parent. But it appears this child was entirely alone. And at 5, way too young to even understand the rules of the road, let alone keep to them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

i live in tokyo and i see parents letting their 4 or 5 year old cycle on the road and that without helmets. The koban is just on the corner and had never seen a police reprimand these kids nor the parents. Accident waiting to happen. I say irreponsible parenting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

5? That is young. Around the age of some of my prekindergarten students. They ride like crazy on the bikes in play area... Hate to see them on the road. At that age they have no idea on saftey. This poor kid probably rode out in front of the truck. This is the parents fault. Nothing less.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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