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95-year-old man driving truck killed in collision with bus

20 Comments

A 95-year-old man driving a small truck was killed when his vehicle hit a bus in Tokyo's Hachioji, police said.

According to police, the accident occurred on a two-way road at around 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Fuji TV quoted police as saying snow from last Monday was still piled up on the side of the road, making it narrower than usual.

Police said it appeared the driver of the truck, Saichi Baba, swerved to avoid a pedestrian walking along the side of the road, lost control of his vehicle and it skidded across the center line and into the front of the oncoming bus.

Nobody on the bus was injured.

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Fuji TV quoted police as saying snow from last Monday was still piled up on the side of the road, making it narrower than usual. Police said it appeared the driver of the truck, Saichi Baba, swerved to avoid a pedestrian walking along the side of the road, lost control of his vehicle and it skidded across the center line and into the front of the oncoming bus.

OK, I get everyone's comments about the wisdom of a 95 year old person still driving, particularly if in a more urban setting. And, yes, one can make the argument that 95 is too old to be driving.

However, this article does not suggest that the accident necessarily was because of his age. It stated that the initial action was his swerving to avoid a pedestrian walking along the side of the road, a road that was narrowed because of snow piled up on the side of the road.

That is an accident that could have happened to anyone, regardless of their age. Nothing suggests that his vision had anything to do with it or that his reflexes were poor. Possible, but not necessarily.

Again, I get the underlying point of the wisdom of a 95 year old person driving, but in this case, it may just have been an accident anybody could have had given the situation.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

He had enough reflexes to swerve in order to avoid running over a pedestrian... It's hardly his fault it had been snowing and had become icy...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

First of all, no one should drive during a snowstorm, and people were warned to stay at home. But at least the 95-year old tried to avoid hitting the girl. I think many seniors are driving out of necessity rather than choice. They may not have family or support groups that would offer them a ride.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The oldest driver I have met was 98. I was a police officer at the time, and he had been in an accident where he had mistaken the gas pedal for the brake pedal. No one was hurt, but his license was valid until his 104th birthday. He was surprisingly sharp for his age, I hope to be as sharp should I live that long. He told me he had first driven a car in 1919, amazing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Age doesn't seem to be a factor (at least not the main one) in this story so his age is probably irrelevant. RIP.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@TrevorPeace

I used to be a ski instructor and I used my car to go to the mountains. Luckily, there were very few pedestrians on the roads I used. I believe you've mentioned before that you don't actually live in Japan. Over here it happens practically every day that pedestrians suddenly appear out of nowhere. He may not have even been going that fast - a thin layer of ice can be extremely detrimental, whatever the age of the driver. How do we know he hadn't just delivered something ? (which would explain why the back of his van was empty). I personally can't find a good job and I'm slightly younger than he was. (The financial situation for many people over here is disastrous).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

95 is pretty old for a driver, but if he passed all is tests then there's no need to pile on the ageism. At any rate once the driverless vehicles hit the market Japan will be ready for them

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This seems like that portrayed a slice of social reality! One: 95 years old man was making a living by driving small truck on snowy road! Two ; some one must have ordered to this 95 years old man to drive and make delivery so that truck company can sustain their business! Three; 95 years old truck driver proven to be effectively avoided a pedestrian near that road where he was driving on that time! ( amazing proffetional driving skill) . I think good driving skill do truck driver and swift and precise response of bus driver made possible to have no injuries on bus passengers! Suppose very cloud has a silver lining. !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The driving in Japan is atrocious. And its all down to the poor standards of teaching. I live next to one of those ridiculous "toy town" driving centers. I stand and watch all the bad habits that would get you failed and the instructors just let them slide. Case in point: Why are they teaching hand over hand turning when all vehicles have power assisted steering? You are not in proper control of the vehicle doing this!! Hands should always remain at the "ten past two" position. Also these centers encourage late signaling when turning.

Anyone who said that he passed the test so he must be alright…that doesn't hold any weight with me.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Now if the man killed the pedestrian walking in the middle of a street he'd be charged with murder the person walking in the middle of the road caused the death of this man & maybe charges should be brought up against him/her?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

95 year old driver in Tokyo?

Hachioji seems fairly suburban.

Some other ages might be debatable, but I think over 90 is without a doubt too old to drive.

At least he had a long life, and didn't take anyone with him. RIP

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Reasonable enough comments. @FightingViking, your note that it was hardly his fault it had been snowing and had become icy, though, points to another problem, especially when people of any age aren't used to driving in such conditions. I'd be asking if he had proper snow tires - even on a pickup truck they don't help that much because the rear of the vehicle is usually empty and too light for proper traction. It snows regularly enough where I live, and when it does, I hunker down inside and only go out to shovel the sidewalk and driveway for mail and parcel deliveries and my newspaper carrier. Even with snow tires on my front-wheel drive car, I won't drive it unless it's a real emergency, not a trip to the grocery store or any other potentially dangerous drive. All that said, the old man did the right thing to avoid the pedestrian, and its tragic that he saved a life when it cost his own.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have a bit of a different take on this, the road had snow piled on the sides it says, SO drivers need to be more careful, slow down etc. Need to drive a speeds you can STOP quickly, NOT have to swerve to miss a pedestrian, my guess is he was driving too fast for the conditions that were evident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

95 year old driver in Tokyo? Wow....I actually wonder how he managed to pass the examinations given to senior drivers.

RIP...fortunately no one else was hurt.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Two ; some one must have ordered to this 95 years old man to drive and make delivery so that truck company can sustain their business!

Not necessarily. He may have been self-employed.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

what, oh what, is a 95-year-old doing driving a truck? Would you trust a 95-year-old to take care of your kids alone?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

95 year old driver in Tokyo? Wow....I actually wonder how he managed to pass the examinations given to senior drivers.

What it tells us is that these examinations, like so many things in Japan, pay lip-service to the fact rather than support it.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This seems like a real accident although, I'm sure a 95 year old doesn't have the reflexes of a teenager.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Police said it appeared the driver of the truck, Saichi Baba, swerved to avoid a pedestrian walking along the side of the road, lost control of his vehicle and it skidded across the center line and into the front of the oncoming bus.

So in other words, excessive speed was the cause of his death.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

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