91-year-old woman hit and killed by car while on her way to Respect for Aged Day ceremony


A 91-year-old woman was hit and killed by a car driven by an 86-year-old man as she walked to a Respect for Aged Day ceremony in Uto, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Monday.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 9:30 a.m. Sankei Shimbun reported that the woman, Michie Hajime, was crossing an intersection where there were no traffic lights, when she was hit by a car turning right.

Hajime was taken to hospital with severe head injuries and was pronounced dead soon after arrival, police said.

Police said the driver, Kenji Ueda, was returning from the same ceremony where he had received a commemorative gift. He was quoted by police as saying he lost attention for a second.

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That's tragic and depressing, for all involved.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

He was quoted by police as saying he lost attention for a second.

As someone who has had more than his fair share of dealings with Japanese police, I have reason to believe he was goaded into saying that. In fact, he was probably asked if he lost attention for a second, by way of looking at something OTHER than the area the pedestrian was in, such as the opposite side where a car was coming, or another pedestrian suddenly appeared, for a split-second, and replied "yes" to the policeman's goading. In Japan, you are supposed to have one eye on one side, and one eye on the other side at all times and NO EXCUSES. And all that folks is how these explanations got to be so standardized.

I was not there so I don't know what happened. But here is what I do know: Its never reported the other way around even if that is what happened, and you know perfectly it does happen. The headline should quite probably read:

Elderly woman carelessly steps in path of car without looking and dies.

As he was turning she was likely hidden by his windshield column. Blind spots are a big reason why I think pedestrians should not have automatic right of way. Pedestrians don't have blind spots, among other advantages. They can nearly always save themselves. But the law gives them "Superman syndrome" and they just say to themselves its all the driver's responsibility. Meanwhile, the driver is expected to beat the laws of physics.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

sad but ironic.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Peace out - my sentiments exactly.

Sadly a long life is lost and another long life ruined. And we can't change that.

And as you said we weren't there, so don't know the exact situation, but from personal experience and others stories, the police often take the easy way out - the car must be in the wrong. No need for in depth analysis.

Seen it with my own eyes. I actually argued strongly for a driver in a supermarket carpark incident. I saw it all and the negligent child was at fault - no 2 ways about it. I as the only witness said I'd support the driver a 1,000 times in court.

I never knew the final outcome - BUT I do know the driver was never charged and never saw the inside of a courtroom.

Nothing involving cars & people is always cut & dried.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The worst for me are kids on bicycles barreling down the 'wrong way' down one way streets- the number of times I've had to hit the brakes ...,,,,well, I've lost count!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Irony of ironies. RIP Obaachan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow 86 years old and he says he lost attention for a second!! Loss of attention for One nano second is too much for a person that age to drive. I feel bad for both, but if he is going to drive a car at that age and can't pay attention he still has to take the responsibility for his actions. May she rest in peace and may the laws apply appropriate for his actions considering his age.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

if he is going to drive a car at that age and can't pay attention he still has to take the responsibility for his actions.

@misunderstood IMHO 91 is too old to be walking around alone on streets that are used by motor vehicles. A park or sprawling estate, okay. But not the street. How come she is not expected to take any responsibility for her own actions?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"A 91-year-old woman was hit and killed by a car driven by an 86-year-old man as she walked to a Respect for Aged Day ceremony"

I think you guys are taking this all too seriously. If you didn't LAUGH OUT LOUD when you read this you have no heart...

We've all got to go somethime!!! :-)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think Peace Out is right. I can't count the number of times I've seen older pedestrians ignore the lights or traffic. I usually say something like "How'd you get old doing things like that?"

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He says he lost attention for a second. But I bet she had not been paying attention for minutes on end!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When will this aged on aged crime end? It just has to stop.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tragic, any way you slice it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Peace out. Really how can you be turning at a junction at the kind of speed where you can first miss a pedestrian and second hit them hard enough to kill them? Car drivers are licenced because they are a select group of road users, given limited privilege to drive a vehicle, pedestrians are all shapes and sizes and of all ability levels including mentally impaired, blind and deaf. Priority has to be with pedestrians. I'd have slightly more sympathy if someone had stepped out onto the middle of a highway, but this was an intersection with pedestrian crossings, the vast majority if accidents are caused by poor driving and poor concentration, even the better drivers don't leave adequate stopping distance and drive too fast. That said I agree you can't trust the police in any country on this kind of thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've been thinking about how I'd like to go: knowing I'm about to die, or suddenly by trauma or something quick.

Knowing I'm gonna die would allow me to say goodbye. That's a plus. Not knowing and just dying would remove all fear.

I think the former is the more mature way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Black Sabbath

I think about this too, too much probably. I think the sudden, no fear way is best. Because I'd rather my wife or kids died instantly in a car crash or a lightning strike than go through a lingering death. Saying goodbye sounds attractive, but has to be a hideous experience for everybody involved.

As a kid I remember we used to come up with the "best way to die" at school. Mine was to be hit on the head by a hydrogen bomb at the moment it exploded. That'd do the job....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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