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72-year-old man backs car into granddaughter, killing her

34 Comments

A five-year-old girl was fatally hit by a car driven by her 72-year-old grandfather as he was backing the vehicle in the parking lot of a family restaurant in Hiroshima City on Tuesday.

According to police, the accident occurred just before 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Royal Host’s Misawa restaurant in Hiroshima’s Nishi Ward, Sankei Shimbun reported. Hajime Morioka told police he was trying to park his car when it struck his granddaughter, Saki Miyamoto, who had gotten out of the car and walked behind it. 

Saki was sandwiched between Morioka’s vehicle and another parked car. She was taken to a hospital where she was confirmed dead.

There were no other passengers present in the car. Police said Morioka had taken Saki to the restaurant to have lunch together.

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34 Comments
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This is too much! Too many old drivers who have no business being on the road considering all their careless mistakes!

After 60 there should be mandatory annual tests to ensure seniors have the physical and mental faculties to actually drive well.

-18 ( +10 / -28 )

That's all well and good, but not being 'allowed' to drive has done little to nothing to stop those who don't want to give up that right.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Oh wow...this is a sad one.

@Joe

I agree with you but 60 is a bit young...or maybe have a "stage 1" test during a doctors visit for motor skills and vision and at 70 a "stage 2" test at the licencing department.

Something needs to be done though...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I know his carelessness is responsible, but I still feel bad for him. Imagine getting out of your car and viewing that terrible scene.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

I sometimes take my granddaughter to Gusto, but it's only a two-block walk up the street. I can't imagine how that poor bastard feels. But, if that had been me, you'd have to put me away.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Entirely avoidable. Cars have had child locks for years. And, yeah, don't move the car if you lose sight of your (grand)child.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Another innocent life taken by an elderly driver. Negligence. A simple glance in the mirror. Where was he looking anyway when reversing?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Moron! Never let a child out of your site in a car park, what was this guy thinking?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Parents and grandparents hitting kids with cars is actually very common worldwide. Here's some data from the USA. Two fatalities a week.

http://www.kidsandcars.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Backover-fact-sheet-FINAL.pdf

This is a tragic accident that probably does not deserve this comment, but I don't think its particularly good to be trying to park that close to another vehicle anyway.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Too sad.

Not knowing the driver personally we can't make a call on whether this is "age" related or not.

But with a degree of certainty it is extremely negligent. Did he clearly instruct his grand-daughter where to go and wait.?

And why would the child need to exit the car before it's parked anyway?

Just 3 hours ago I had a mini-freak out in a Direx carpark.

2 boys (5~7???) jumped out of the just parked car and ran to the entrance. Young mother screamed out "Kuruma abunai yo". The incoming car was moving very slowly and no-one was ever in danger, but the mum's frustrated face said it all.

Felt like going over and growling to the imps "Abunai YOOOOO", but might have got arrested.

Too many half-witted situations by all ages.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Joe Blow - After 60 there should be mandatory annual tests to ensure seniors have the physical and mental faculties to actually drive well.

Don't be so melodramatic! Your idea is ridiculous and naive! Drivers over 65 are tested three times a year already! you are obviously a young millennial. I'de be interested to see how eager you would be to to do cognitive test for your licence when you are 60. Yes, it is a tragic accident due to a momentary lapse of concentration, but his age has nothing to do with it. I'll bet you don't have kids either. It only takes a second and kids are gone!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Nothing to do with being an older driver, you hear about this sort of tragic accident all the time, often the car is driven by a parent.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I saw this on Zero news last night. It reported the elderly driver mistaking the accelerator for the brakes so the car lunges backwards all of a sudden going over the cement stoppers in parking spaces such as this family restaurant and pinning the little girl. Neptimicide. It was too sudden for her to move out of the way.

Engineering design might be able to solve this. Don’t allow the pedal to the medal for accelerators but for brakes only.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Thanks quercetum. It's much clearer what happened now.

I know kids get excited when they go out to eat, but he should not have let her out of the car first. A five year old should not be unsupervised in a car park.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Kids are one's shot at immortality. Teach then that dangers exist, to always be aware, and avoid danger. Then above, all look for the kiddos, be aware of where they are, and treat then like the extremely valuable treasure they really are.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Very sad indeed, whether if its his fault or not, he will have this on his conscience for the rest of his life.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I know his carelessness is responsible

In the absence of all the facts (and an incomplete summary of the facts in the article above) we do not know any such thing. Such tragic accidents happen too frequently, but to immediately pinpoint the cause as the driver's carelessness or his age is irresponsible.

That said, there are strategies that drivers transporting children can take to minimize the potential for a tragic accident. Two that would help significantly include the habit of keeping all passengers belted in their seats until the vehicle is safely stopped and keys removed from the ignition. Another is keeping the passenger doors locked so that young children who might be eager to bolt can't do so.

There are more things that can be done to mitigate the risk of accidents, but these two would be a fine start.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is too much! Too many old drivers who have no business being on the road considering all their careless mistakes!

In this case, age is not the issue. We have seen plenty of stories of parents of all ages letting their small kids run around in car parking spaces. This is a common sense issue.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I saw this on Zero news last night. It reported the elderly driver mistaking the accelerator for the brakes so the car lunges backwards all of a sudden going over the cement stoppers in parking spaces such as this family restaurant and pinning the little girl. Neptimicide. It was too sudden for her to move out of the way.

Yeh, it seems he did see the girl but panicked and hit the accelerator. Still shouldn't have been parking with the girl out of the car, unless someone else was supposed to be with her, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Engineering design might be able to solve this. Don’t allow the pedal to the medal for accelerators but for brakes only.

Surprised they haven't solved that already. Seems like it could help in a lot of these cases.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don't think it's just a problem of aged drivers.

Japanese people have literally no sense or understanding of danger or "what could happen" way of thinking.

The whole country is a safety bubble with guidances from pre-school to the retirement. Think a little, creatively, about what is possible, when you have a child, near a car.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

To those blaming age; This unfortunately happens to children no matter what age the parent is. Focus on the tragedy. A grandparent made a major mistake and killed his grandchild. RIP little one.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I strap my 3 year old in the car BEFORE turning the ignition.

I park the car BEFORE unstrapping him from the safety seat.

Seems to work .... Should be common sense.....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Once again.....why is the child out of the car before the car is parked? It makes no sense

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mr Kipling - you speak with too much common sense.

I just can't understand the slackness of many parents in ensuring safety of children when it comes to cars.

I've started using a direct phrase like "Why don't parents love their children", in these kinds of discussions.

People are a little taken aback by the statement, but I counter by saying - "If they loved them they'd do their utmost to protect them in life and death situations".

Driving with your 3 year old standing on the front passenger side with head resting on the dash board can only mean you don't love them.

Ditto letting a little kid have unsupervised reign in a carpark.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Saki was sandwiched between Morioka’s vehicle and another parked car. She was taken to a hospital where she was confirmed dead.

It sounds like he hit the gas and slammed into the car behind him, thus pinning his grand-daughter between the cars. Because as a criminal forensics specialist, I can say for this to happen, he had to be going at a higher speed that is required to reverse into a parking space WITH parked cars behind him. Going at that speed, he probably didn't have time to look behind him or to know what's going on to park properly and avoid this tragedy because he accidentally hit the gas. So something is DEFINITELY missing from this story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I know kids get excited when they go out to eat, but he should not have let her out of the car first. A five year old should not be unsupervised in a car park.

THIS!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was waiting for the "mistook the accelerator for the brake" routine. Every time.

The old chap must be going through hell at the moment, but why is it so difficult to design a car for the elderly which puts the pedals too far apart for confusion? Left foot brake, right foot gas.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I believe this to be a genuinely terrible accident, and the old man will have to live with it. Just one of those happenstances that can make one endure a life of torment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It reported the elderly driver mistaking the accelerator for the brakes so the car lunges backwards all of a sudden going over the cement stoppers in parking spaces such as this family restaurant and pinning the little girl.

72 is too old to drive a car which can be, and was in this case, a murder weapon. All those apologists for

ancient people running over kids are lucky this was not your child or grandchild. I feel sorry for this

fellow but people like him should not be behind the wheel due to the public safety risk they represent.

Can you imagine the parents of this baby girl, coming to terms with their father or father-in-law

killing their daughter. Tragic.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This kind of horrific accident happens all the time. It doesn't matter how old you are, if a child is behind the car, they are probably too small to be seen. It's most common from parents backing out of their driveway. Let's not take a heartbreaking tragedy and turn it into some political agenda. I can't imagine how painful this must be for the grandfather and the rest of the family. They don't need nasty comments. He will be feeling guilty enough.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Child lock the doors people!!!!!

No child should be out of the car until the ignition is off and the parent is out as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@mrkipling, common sense is not so common!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ChelseaToday  02:33 pm JST

The most sensible comment in this forum. And you know more about driving too. A 5 year old girl can be hardly spotted at the back of a vehicle especially if it is a van or a big car when viewed from the driver's seat. It is called Blind Spot. That is why most cars are equipped with a back cameras or a small mirror attached at the rear window of a car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Chelsea & Sceptical - I agree with your sentiments, and the suffering and trauma that must be occuring in that family now is almost unimaginable. No one would rightly want to hound people in such tragic circumstances.

But sadly in this case it doesn't address the point of why a 5 yr old child was let out of a car before it's parked.

We all make momentary blunders in our lives, mostly nothing happens, sometimes something does and rarely - but it does happen - a nightmare occurs.

When it comes to cars and kids there are no ifs & buts. Families must impress their own strict safety rules and enforce them. We can't watch kids all the time, but one place where we as adults have a better than even chance is in a car. It's the duty of all guardians. If we don't the negative results are simply to distressing to bear.

I've told the story on here before where close family friends were amazed when my daughters got into their rear passenger child seats by themselves. I said puzzled, "well don't your kids?" Oh no, they don't like sitting in them.

End of story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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