Driver killed in car-train crash was policeman disciplined for 'personal' trouble


A man who died after his car was hit by a train in Anjo, Aichi Prefecture, on Thursday morning, has been identified as a 43-year-old police officer who had recently been disciplined for "personal" trouble, Aichi prefectural police said Friday.

The police said the officer, Norihiko Sato, was an inspector who was reprimanded in January, but did not specify the nature of the trouble, Fuji TV reported.

Police believe Sato may have committed suicide. His car was stopped on a railway crossing on the JR Tokaido line between Nishi-Okazaki and Anjo stations at around 6:50 a.m. Thursday, even though the crossing gates had been lowered.

The driver of the train told police he saw the car on the crossing and applied the emergency brake but could not stop in time. The impact hurled the car into a power pole and it burst into flames, killing Sato instantly, while the first carriage of the train was derailed. Four people on the train were taken to hospital with light injuries. There were about 280 people on the six-carriage train.

Train services were suspended for 13 hours after the incident, affecting 87,000 passengers, according to JR Tokai.

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Called it yesterday. The suicide part, not the cop part.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The cop must have had mental problems because if he indeed did commit suicide, he endangered the lives of many innocent people riding on that speeding train. Anyway, if it was a suicide, he sure went out in a fiery story-making way. Lots of publicity ...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So, the suicide theorists were correct. It wasn't really a hard call though. It may have been better if he just shot himself instead of destroying a train and disrupting thousands of people for a half a day.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

People jumping in front of trains is bad enough mentally for people forced to experience or watch it, but this takes it to a whole new level. If it does indeed turn out to be a suicide he's intentionally caused an accident which could easily have caused serious injury to the driver and the passengers in that carriage which derailed. A lot of police recently seem to have major mental issues, perhaps on the job stress counselling or better screening before they join would help.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"disciplined" in Japan is called "merciless harassment" in most other countries

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Hey, leave him alone, blowing his head off in a toilet, or leaping/driving in front of a train was his best option. He did what was expected in his world that is the saddest part of the whole story.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@smith in Japan I called it first! I said can't rule out suicide! It was too suspicious.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

ok, zabutons for all those calling a suicide in a country with the highest suicide rate in the world...well done

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan doesn't have the highest suicide rate in the world.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Japan is one of the most developed, modern and richest countries in the world, Japan has been struggling with an unusually high suicide rate for a long time. Suicide is the leading cause of death in men ages 20–44 with unemployment, depression and social pressure as key contributing factors"

Go check the stats and have a look at the state and the living conditions in the countries above Japan and tell me there's nothing wrong.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I was pointing out that you were incorrect about Japan having the highest suicide rate in the world.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Umm... the plice officer was taken care of for that accident by other police officers... Was there any waysb left to solve his problem? Committing to a suicide as a solution is inappropriate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@peter Yes, you are incorrect. It's not the highest in the world, nor even in the developed world. Sorry.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Korea (28.7 / 100,000), Lithuania (27.1 / 100,000), then Japan (18.7 / 100,000) from 2012 to 2014 OECD latest stats available. Hungary was 3rd in 2013 but dropped to 4th at 18.0 / 100,000 in 2014. In the ensuing years these positions can also have changed but it's clear that Japan would have to have huge spike to make it to #1 and this contradicts news of reductions. so therefore not going to be #1 regardless.

It makes no sense to argue about things you can look up in 0.5 seconds. Be curious about the world before typing.

RIP to the policeman, and condolences to his family and friends

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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