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5-year-old girl run over, killed by mother

49 Comments

Police said Monday that a five-year-old girl was killed in Seto, Aichi Prefecture, after her mother accidentally ran her over with a car.

According to police, Manami Koide, 29, hit her daughter Nanami with her car outside their home at around 4 p.m. Sunday, TBS reported. Police say Koide was reversing her car toward the house so that she could vacuum it when the incident occurred.

Nanami was taken to hospital where she died around an hour and a half later of a cardiac rupture.

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49 Comments
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I'm a daily reader of Japan Today and have come to the conclusion that the biggest threat to young Japanese children is their own parents.

22 ( +27 / -7 )

I feel sorry for the mother. very sad story, a true nightmare. I hope she can recover from this tragic loss. Please live for your daughter.

It may be one of the problems of how they teach reverse driving in JP. Most people strictly use the mirrors only which is really limited and (its written on the mirror) inaccurate. Many driver here dont take a look back with their own eyes. Depending on the design of her car this may have prevented this accident.

I hear they tell you not to look back in driving school in JP. But i dont know for sure as i have never taken the lesson. But i know most JP drivers i have seen take forever to park in reverse and never look back.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Bad accidents happen and this is the worst kind of accident to happen to a parent (of any age). Happened to my neighbor a long time ago. He never got over it. Never.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Very sad story.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It really does make me wonder sometimes with the sheer stupidity of the ways in which children are dying at the hands of their parents whether these things really are accidents. Like in this case: how could you not check and check again the whereabouts of your little girl before reversing the car up, and how could you have been going fast enough when reversing into a driveway to have actually killed someone? If you werent going fast enough and simply knocked her down, how could you then, having felt the bump and knowing you have a 5 year old close by, have then continued reversing over the "bump"?

I know this sounds horribly judgemental and I apologise if I offend anyones senstivities, but honestly, these are all thoughts crossing my mind when I read these kinds of reports.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Al, they tell you to look back and double check there are no cars or people, and to estimate the distance. and they make you practice a lot. I don't know how tall was the girl, but she may have stand, or crouched at an angle it would have been impossible to see her. terrible accident

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm not a parent yet, but is it really that hard to know where your kids are when you start operating potentially dangerous equipment around the house / outside your home? Serious question, as I'm wanting to prepare myself for when I have kids of my own. Another child tragedy. How many weeks in a row now JT? RIP little one...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Interesting that there is no 'Police arrested the driver' statement attached to this report. It is invariably included in other reports of this kind, giving rise to the impression that the driver at fault, without even knowing the actual circumstances. Or maybe in this case, the police are showing some compassion to the mother of the victim...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I'm not a parent yet, but is it really that hard to know where your kids are when you start operating potentially dangerous equipment"

No. I don't think so. I've been through three kids in Japan. When the kids were young, I wouldn't even GET in the car with the kids around. Even now, I won't get in the car if the DOG is outside or not in the car with me. There is no excuse. Yet another stupid parent.

-2 ( +5 / -6 )

why not let the kid ride with her for a few seconds in the car ? Kids like to follow parents. I guess the car didn't have the rear camera or rear motion detection ?????

All cars should have this by 2016.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree with OMGhontoni in that she couldn't possibly be going that fast to kill her. 1 km/hr perhaps?. A bump at that speed would not have killed her. Strange.

Here in the US nearly all trucks have printed on their mirror: G.O.A.L. "Get Out And Look". Should be mandatory on all vehicles' mirrors.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am a father of three and I see "shockingly stupid" parents every day on my travels to and from work. I am a driver as well and I wouldnt even let my children be in the yard without another adult there and I wouldnt even move the car unless I could see them.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

Personally I feel rear cameras and sensors have a limit to how much they can help a driver and may actually create carelessness. It's scary the way some of my friends rely 100% on them when backing up as they think they can see everything when clearly you can not - ie. you wouldn't see a child who suddenly runs out behind the car before it's too late while if you checked over your inside shoulder, you should have a wider view. In addition to the cameras and sensors (which help more with low lying objects and things directly behind the car) you obviously need to check all your mirrors and over your shoulders or as Pachipro says, get out and look, just to be sure. Well worth it if you have young kids like I do (2 & 5). One thing I see far too much in Japan is how many ppl open the driver's door to look back while reversing....frightening.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A bump at that speed would not have killed her. Strange

Now imagine one of the tires full on her 5 year old chest, pinning her to the ground. That is how she got a cardiac rupture.

She was probably under the car and just behind the wheel when momma pushed harder on the accelerator to get over that mystery bump preventing the car from moving.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am so displeased with this article, I am saddened and furious at the same time. What makes this a real tragedy is that, if you're a parent , you need to know where your kids are at all times. If you are going outside to get the mail, move the car, etc. It is in the best interest of the child to have someone supervise that child even if it's just for a minute. That minute may cost them their life. Children are careless and that comes with the package but there are so many tragedies we as parents can avoid if we are more cautious.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A horrible mistake on the Mother's part. Why wasn't her child in the car with her? Where the hell did she think her daughter was? I wouldn't have moved my car at all if I knew she was outside and wan't in my sight. And she must've been flooring the gas pedal to rupture the daughter's chest.

Poor little girl.

-4 ( +1 / -4 )

Poor child...poor mother, however and whosever fault this is a tragedy of the greatest scale. I cannot begin to imagine the parents feelings at this time. Anyone reading this with children will understand the nightmare we all dread every day.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This has always been one of my fears, that I will accidentally run over my kid, or another when backing up. So, I err to the side of caution and check for kids around the car and in the parking lot before getting in. I make my children stand beside or in front of the car. I keep count and track of those I cannot control. Then I SLOWLY back out.

Interestingly, sometimes there are parents are around and could care less that their child is playing in a parking lot with a moving vehicle...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I'm not a parent yet, but is it really that hard to know where your kids are when you start operating potentially dangerous equipment"

No, its not.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Another little child dies... this is so sad. The mother must be totally distraught by this tragedy... ; _ ;

Why do some people on JT always assume that the parent is trying to kill the child when we see these stories? So judgemental.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

This is a terrible accident. Every parent out there has told a 5yr old to wait, not to move or such only to turn around and find they've moved. Yes, the kid should've been in the house or in the car but hindsight is 20/20. This poor woman has to live with killing her child for the rest of her life. I have 3 kids and make sure they hold my hand when in a car park, that includes my 8 year old but they resist as I'd a kids nature. I can't even imagine this mothers pain, I don't want too. To those who doubt jps driving schools I can confirm they drill into new drivers. Walk around the car, Check mirrors, blind side check, recheck mirrors then move. It's stupid, self centred people who forget this immediately upon getting a license. This time I can't knock the parent, unlike the balcony drop kids, there are too many variables... Too many ifs... This is not a case of JP parenting, it's a horrific accident. RIP little one.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Poor kid, and poor family. This is just a tragic story for all involved.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thunderbird2: I agree. The mother most likely knows more than anyone that she is to blame and will have to live the rest of her life knowing this. She doesn't need a bunch of people she doesn't know sitting at their keyboards telling her this. I guess some people feel they have to voice their opinion and blame someone in any situation, no matter how obvious it is.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is the worst thing that could happen to a family. Such sad news.

As for the "OMG, Japanese parents are so awful" comments - what's wrong with you people?! This could have happened to a family in any part of the world - and it does. Can't you go 5 minutes without finding something to bitch about Japan or Japanese people?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Truly sad. This happens more often than most people think. It's obviously avoidable if 100# of the time you now where your kids are.

But, it could happen just that one times out of thousands of times because the parent forgot - like we all forget things or trip or make a mistake. Or that one time when the kid decides to play or do something silly.

Parents who experience this don't need to be punished by anonymous people on the internet.

Life is so precious and can be gone in a moment.

@Ted Barrera - all I can say is, live everyday as if the worst possible thing can happen and therefore prepare and do everything you can. And love your kids so much so that if something happens you know they had a wonderful time.

Be careful guys.

PS Tedd, it's worth reading all you can about child accidents in the home. Very scary statistics.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Thanks for the advice yasukuni.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My prayers go out to the family. These things happen to the best of people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For those who are asking "How could a parent not know where their kid was?" don't really know how mobile and unpredictable kids are. It's too difficult to discern exactly what happened from this article.

Kids at age 5 can easily open and close and doors and can be quite quick. This kid could've easily walked out of her house and onto the driveway without her mother knowing. Kids that age are also small enough so as not to be visible when looking out of the back window.

My kid also has no idea what I'm doing with my car when I'm moving it in the parking lot and stupidly goes exactly where an adult would know not to go. That's why I'm extra vigilant, but I can easily see how something like this could happen. This is very tragic but I think too many of us are jumping to the conclusion that she was just careless and stupid. We just don't know.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

wontondMay. 21, 2012 - 01:11PM JST

I'm a daily reader of Japan Today and have come to the conclusion that the biggest threat to young Japanese children is their own parents.

Oh please, all you have to do is look around the internet for 10 minutes and you will find otherwise. Most deaths caused by accidents happen at home in all developed countries. Accidental death caused by motor vehicles usually comes in a far second place. I don't know which category this one would fall under though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would HATE to be a Japanese parent reading JT reader comments on this type of story.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why didn't she know the kid was out playing? and if so, why risk it? I can't understand parents here sometimes.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I hear they tell you not to look back in driving school in JP. But i dont know for sure as i have never taken the lesson. But i know most JP drivers i have seen take forever to park in reverse and never look back.

Yes they are taught to look back and check blind spots besides using the mirrors.

However like with many other things here people stop doing what they are supposed to be doing when driving once they "graduate" and get their licenses.

Oh two reasons I know this for a fact, one I've been through a driving school here to get my large/over sized vehicle license and two my father-in-law is the principal of two driving schools and we have talked about this very thing.

He was a stickler, when I drove him around, for constantly harping on me to TURN YOUR DARN HEAD when backing up. I thank him for his vigilance!

Used be be that some kids were an accident waiting to happen, now a days it seems like it's the parents are the accident waiting to happen and it's a shame. My heart goes out to the child and the mother, I would not want to be in her shoes knowing she killed her own child. She is one that is going to need help.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OMG!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

yaneeMay. 21, 2012 - 01:52PM JST "I'm not a parent yet, but is it really that hard to know where your kids are when you start operating potentially dangerous equipment"

This weekend my daughter and I were headed out to a festival. She's 4 and was super-excited about the festival, and I while I normally enforce a "otete" (hold my hand) rule but I had two bags of garbage to put in the garbage locker at the end of the apartment block, so I just told her to hold onto my belt. We walked down together and I put down the garbage to open the, and she let go of my belt. The moment I turned to pick up the garbage and throw it into the locker she dashed off towards the car... just as my neighbour was pulling out. My daughter got a nasty bump on the shin, but it really wasn't the neighbour's fault, my daughter just ran out in front of his car. It was her fault in that she had orders to hold onto my belt, which she disobeyed, but she's also 4 years old and has no idea of the consequences of her actions and is going through a "disobey every instruction" phase.

My daughter was lucky to get away with just a bump, and I'd like to say that I'll take more precautions in the future, but honestly there's a limit to what one can do. I gave her a long talking to about the danger of cars (for about the 10th time in a month) but honestly I don't think it's sinking in at this phase of her development; she's too big for harnesses, and I'm very vigilant but all it takes is a second's inattention and a 4 year old can cover a lot of ground.

I feel very sorry for this mother, it could happen to anyone, and anyone who says otherwise either clearly never has had kids or has just been insanely lucky, because anyone who's had kids knows that they sometimes deliberately disobey instructions to test their limits.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It's terribly sad, but this is more common than people realize. falls are the leading cause of accidental deth for small children.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well said Frungy, and I'm so glad for you that your daughter is ok.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Frungy, probably all parents have experiences like that. Scare the living daylights out of you don't they. At least girls get some sense earlier on. Some boys never learn.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I think the people here with kids realize that while it's easy to criticize a parent because an article they read, there are times when just 10 seconds is all it takes for a child to end up in trouble out of years of careful attention and preparation.

Just a few seconds.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Frungy,

She got into a car and decided to move it. Put the kid in the car with you. A little different than holding on to a belt.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Unfortunately these tragedies happen and no matter how many times they get reported- noone ever learns- they must think bad things only happen to other people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A tragic accident indeed. It is not so difficult to watch your kids or make sure they ae safely out of harm's way when moving a car. From the injuries this kid received it seems like the mother didn't just knock her, but drove right over her. Reckon she was going at a bit of a cracking pace. Everybody knows that most Japanese drivers can not drive a car backwards. She probably had the door open with her head hanging out looking backwards and had no idea about the other three points of the car.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Plenty of hindsight, and all good advice to would-be and present parents. However, children can get anywhere in any time after you just saw them in a safe distance. Thinking othervise just shows you don't have experience on little children. Plus you really don't see the immediate surroundings of a car, no matter how much you believe it.

Of course she could have done better, but it was an accident, and she's already going through more than any of you. If it was me, I would never stop screaming.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

yaneeMay. 21, 2012 - 01:52PM JST I've been through three kids in Japan.

and they let you have 2 more after you did away with the first 2 ???

seriously though, cars need to be re-designed : we need to change the way they too easily and often "run over small kids" and the other weekly news item "mistake accelerator for break pedal"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pointofviewMay. 21, 2012 - 06:31PM JST Frungy, She got into a car and decided to move it. Put the kid in the car with you. A little different than holding on to a belt.

Easy to say with 20/20 hindsight, and yes, that would have been my call too, but there is a similarity to holding onto a belt. I expected my kid to obey instructions for the few seconds it took me to sling the garbage into the trash locker... and she didn't. I'm sure the mother felt the same way, confident that if she moved the car quickly the kid wouldn't have time to wander off to investigate a wasp nest, or run into traffic or whatever. Instead the kid (for reasons best known to herself) decided to run directly behind the car.

It's an accident that she didn't foresee, and it's easy to say afterwards, "Oh, you should have expected that!", but kids do some damned stupid things and it's impossible to foresee all the possibilities. They try and lick live electric sockets, they run with scissors, they decide to try and cut their own hair (fortunately in my case with limited success because she only has a pair of plastic scissors), they try climb EVERYTHING (no, seriously, EVERYTHING!!!), they put random things in their mouths, they stuff things in their ears/nose, they poke themselves in the eye (why? I really don't know!), they move everywhere at a mad run with no concern for anything around them. The list of potentially suicidal things that kids do is virtually endless, and it's only by constant vigilance that parents manage to prevent catastrophe on a daily basis. So, yes, this mother failed once, and that's all it takes with a kid, a single time you didn't contemplate all of the horrendous possibilities, but she probably saved her kid's life a thousand times over before that. Being a parent isn't easy or for the faint-hearted. I'm sure she's insane with grief and deserves our deepest sympathies and support, not some know-it-all on the sidelines chirping about how hypothetically they could have done a better job.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I really don't like some of the comments on this thread that suggest Japanese parents are particularly negligent with their kids, or that this kind of thing happens more in Japan than elsewhere. I bet it doesn't. In fact, from what I see of Japanese kids, most of them get wrapped up in cotton wool and are babied for a long long time by their mothers in particular, so I think these sweeping generalizations about kids being in more danger in Japan than elsewhere are a load of absolute rubbish.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I really don't like some of the comments on this thread that suggest Japanese parents are particularly negligent with their kids, or that this kind of thing happens more in Japan than elsewhere. I bet it doesn't. In fact, from what I see of Japanese kids, most of them get wrapped up in cotton wool and are babied for a long long time by their mothers in particular, so I think these sweeping generalizations about kids being in more danger in Japan than elsewhere are a load of absolute rubbish.

At last someone else feeling angered at the generalisations about Japanese parents. Thank you Tamarama.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is so sad... RIP little girl

1 ( +1 / -0 )

this mother... my heart goes out to her. this is going to haunt her every waking moment for the rest of her life and it pains me to see such misery.

R.I.P young girl, you will be missed

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I really don't like some of the comments on this thread that suggest Japanese parents are particularly negligent with their kids, or that this kind of thing happens more in Japan than elsewhere. I bet it doesn't. In fact, from what I see of Japanese kids, most of them get wrapped up in cotton wool and are babied for a long long time by their mothers in particular, so I think these sweeping generalizations about kids being in more danger in Japan than elsewhere are a load of absolute rubbish.

Thank you!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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