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6-year-old boy hit and killed by car while playing on skateboard

29 Comments

A 6-year-old boy who was playing on a skateboard in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, died after being hit by a car, police said Thursday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 3 p.m. Wednesday. TBS reported that the boy, Ryota Watanabe, and his friends were lying on their backs on their skateboards near a crossing, when Watanabe's skateboard rolled out onto the crossing and was hit by the car. He was taken to hospital and died a short while later.

Police quoted the driver, Nami Uehara, 35, as saying she had not noticed any of the children. "I heard a sound, as if I had hit something, so I stopped and found the boy on the ground," she told police.

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29 Comments
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What a horrible unfortunate accident. Condolence to family, thoughts are with the driver.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

geez..another child, dead

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yet another young child, not able yet to make good decisions is let down by not being supervised by an adult while they play.

If a supervising adult had been with the six year old when he made the poor choice to lay down on a skateboard near a crossing he would not have got run over. How hard is it for parents to supervise their young children! That poor lady who ran him over, not even seeing him will suffer the rest of her life with the thought she accidentally killed the boy. That parent should be charged with child neglect.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Yet another young child, not able yet to make good decisions is let down by not being supervised by an adult while they play.

it is impossible and uneccesary to supervise your kids 24/7. there are times when you, as a parent need to be there. but playing outside with his friends, and i'm guessing near his house, is not one of them.

and believe me, even if a parent were there that doesn't mean a tragic accident won't happen. i've seen so many cases where parents take their kids to a park and then ignore the kids and stare at their cell phones.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

If a parent is not able to organise supervision for a 6 year old on a 24 hour basis, in the event they are not able to do it themselves, then they are neglecting that child's needs. YES it is possible, if people are well organised and not selfish, not only that, it saves the lives of those too young to care for themselves yet.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

"then they are neglecting that child's needs"

A child`s needs are to play.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

To play without ending up in a coffin because their parents cant be bothered to supervise their child. 6 is too young to supervise themselves. Why are some parents so selfish? It is so easy to go and take the boy out on his skateboard. A simple "that is dangerous, dont do that there" would have meant that boy lived to have the life he could have had. It should not be a case of survival of the fittest, or luckiest, or those with parents who care.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

LaWren, you're obviously not a parent. Name me one kid who wasn't injured or hurt in some way growing up.

If one day you ever have kids, and your kid takes a bump (of any sort), I hope you're not subjected to someone braying, berating and blaming you for it. Accidents happens, whether you're watching or not. Some, as in this unfortunate case, are more serious than others. But to blame the parents (especially when you don't know where they were) is simply boorish.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Terrible tragedy for both the boy's family and the now traumatized (and soon to be vilified) driver. It's not so much about direct supervision as it is about lack of neighborhood places for kids to play.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Is it just me, or do I have trouble with a 6 year old on a skateboard...in traffic? Mr. Holly and I wouldn't let our son skateboard until he was 13...and even then, he wasn't allowed to skateboard on the road. We took him to a park for the first 6 months, and after that, trusted that he would be going to the park when going out with it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

hope the driver isn't charged for anything, the boy suddenly rolls out at ground level... what do you expect will happen

6 ( +7 / -2 )

I have three kids, descendent. Yes they have accidents, but I have never let a 6 year old out to play without them being supervised. You cant stop them falling from a climbing frame, skinning their knees, even in one horrifying accident, falling from their bike and chipping an adult front tooth. BUT you can stop them from playing dangerously by roads in a way that drivers cannot see, and dying. You can stop predators from hurting them. It just means that you or someone else has to supervise them while they are young, and minimize the risks they take.

This parent's failure led to the death of their child, and this poor driver being traumatized.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

@jumpultimatestars Unfortunately, the driver will almost certainly be charged with at the very least professional negligence, and very likely manslaughter. It may not be fair or reasonable to many people, but the official view is that the driver, "professional" because licensed, even if not "commercial" as in a taxi driver, must drive so as to be able to avoid inflicting injury, regardless of circumstances, with very, very few exceptions or room for interpretation. "Even if the pedestrian drops from the sky", as a cop once told me.

Practical or not, you're supposed to drive in such a way as to be able to avoid people darting from between cars, or out of hedges, or lying on skateboards. You won't find many (any?) prosecutors willing to consider "extenuating circumstances" when a vehicle hits a pedestrian or (usually) a bicyclist.

I feel very sorry for the boy and his family, and for the driver as well. I personally think that the boy was too young to be skateboarding unsupervised on the street, but it's too late for his parents to be making that decision now. They, and the driver, will have to live with the aftermath of this tragedy that could probably have been avoided, but likely not by the driver.

The possibility of being held to a virtually impossible standard as a driver is always there. If you can't cope with that, it's probably best not to drive here. Drive safely if you must drive, and--as a long-term and frequent driver here--I'd advise always being alert for the worst-case, most unlikely scenarios, and try to drive to avoid them.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

We live in a day and age where so many parents think it's necessary to supervise your kid every second of the day, every day of their lives.

That's all fine and dandy when they are kids, but it leaves them unable to act in society when they become adults.

It's sad when something like this happens, and I feel so much for the parents and the driver. But, sometimes you have to let kids risk hurting themselves. Otherwise you are just hurting them when they become adults.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

One boy dead, one family devastated, and the life of a driver ruined. He should not be charged in my opinion.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

are people commenting here not getting that this kid is 6 years old? he's not 10 or older..I wasn't allowed to play by myself outside until around 9 or 10 years and I wasn't allowed to leave the neighborhood. YES kids get hurt but kids that young don't have the ability to do right from wrong..being able to see your kid from your window or door or from a park bench in the distance is enough supervision..but letting a 6 year old go with friends on a skateboard alone..it's not right. Letting 6 year olds run all over town alone it's not right. 6 is not old enough to go places alone they are just out of kindergarten for crying out loud.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

These kind of accidents happen in the blink of an eye, even if a parent was supervising it may not have been preventable. I feel so bad for the family, for the driver who hit him and the little friends who had to watch it happen.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

LaWren, you're obviously not a parent. Name me one kid who wasn't injured or hurt in some way growing up.

Here is the situation: A 6-year old, presumably Kindergartener or 1st-grader, laying on their back on a brakeless skateboard next to an intersection in the busy city of Funabashi.

Would you let your kid do this?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

holyholly, you're certainly not alone, I wouldn't let my 9-year-old have a skateboard, let alone a 6-year-old. Skateboards are dangerous even when properly supervised unless kids are wearing proper helmets and pads, which Japanese children never seem to wear. They are difficult to control and don't have breaks. We don't teach our kids to ride bicycles by letting them out with their friends near busy roads; no one with half a brain would even dream of it. Skateboards, roads and young children don't mix. With that said, Japanese drivers often don't slow down near crossings or when they see kids on pavements. Some do, but many don't. Plenty of drivers are smoking, eating, drinking, changing music, staring at sat navs, playing with cell phones etc. as well as going too fast and generally not looking where they are going. Perhaps this driver wasn't doing any of those things and was an innocent victim too, but I don't believe there is any way I could have hit a child on a crossing in my car because I would have seen the kids near the road and slowed down to a crawl as I went past them. Japan should start erecting speed bumps near crossings. There are too many accidents and they are usually preventable if traffic is slowed down.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

We shouldn`t be focusing on who is to blame, but on ways of lessoning the possibility of these things happening again - and it will definitely happen again unless something dramatically different is done.

We could try to keep the kids inside the house with TV, snacks and video games. We could try driving them everywhere they need to go - but all this only leads to lots of obese kids with ADD, and even more dangerous cars on the road.

We should recognize the need for kids to play and explore, to walk to and from school, to take chances sometimes - on their own. It is our responsibilty to create a safe environment for kids to be able to do so - so more sidewalks and bike lanes, more parks and less parking lots - please.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

i always tell kids how dangerous it is to do that but they wont listen :( i dont want their friendship to end up like in anohana!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Practical or not, you're supposed to drive in such a way as to be able to avoid people darting from between cars, or out of hedges, or lying on skateboards. You won't find many (any?) prosecutors willing to consider "extenuating circumstances" when a vehicle hits a pedestrian or (usually) a bicyclist.

Be that as it may, in this instance the victim was neither a pedestrian NOR a bicyclist. The assumption of being able to avoid someone starts with the basic premise that you would have been able to SEE that person in order to avoid them. A person laying flat on a skateboard is below the hood of most cars and therefore hidden as much as 10 meters in front of the car (depending on the model).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The boy was unlucky, the driver was unlucky, end of story.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Driver and parents are to blame, as a car driver you have to slow down if their is no visibility... As a parent you tell your child not to go even close to a street, or make a fence and area fir your child to play or give him another toy, not a skateboard

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How hard is it for parents to supervise their young children!

Anyone who has ever been in charge of the care of a young child, either as a parent, teacher, day care employee, baby sitter, etc... Would know it can be very difficult to watch them, they have this ability to get to places that you think are out of reach or out of their physical ability to get climb and get too.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Lying on their backs on skateboards at a crossing, eh? Obviously a recipe for disaster. RIP to the kid, and I feel bad for the driver and family who will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Regardless of the discussion of whether or not the child should have been supervised or not, look at the situation he was in. Him and his friends were lying on their backs on skateboards on a road? This isn't so much a problem of supervision as it is common sense. If an adult is going to let their child go out alone without supervision then they need to teach that child the necessary knowledge for doing so. Things like - don't play in the road, be aware of your surroundings, look out for your friends, etc.

Sure lots of us may have gone out to play unsupervised when we were young and you may even let your children do the same thing. Accidents happen within reason: kids skateboarding in a park and one falls off and cuts themselves up, screwing around on a playground and breaking a bone, etc. How many of you got into accidents with vehicles on the road? None of me and my friends ever did and that's because we were taught to be smarter than to play in the road.

If your child can't understand a lesson as simple as: Playing in road = dangerous, then they probably shouldn't be let outside on their own.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why are people so quick try and blame someone for an accident. Children are children, they live in the moment amd easily forget things. Stop blaming the parents and driver.

If you want to blame someone, blame the lack of real sidewalks in this country.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

negligence caused him to be dead.

Negligence is passive, not active, therefore it cannot have 'caused' death, it can only have resulted in death.

Why are people so quick try and blame someone for an accident.

Didn't you know? For Japan posters, someone is always at fault for everything. Always.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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