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Elderly couple killed after their truck hit by train on crossing

16 Comments

An elderly couple were killed after their light truck was destroyed by a train on a crossing in Miyazaki City, police said.

According to police, the accident occurred on a crossing on the JR Nichinan line at around 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Fuji TV reported the train slammed into a light truck driven by Mitsugu Taniguchi, 82, accompanied by his wife Miyoko, 79.

The truck was completely wrecked and the couple were declared dead at the scene. The crossing has no gates nor an alarm to warn of approaching trains.

The driver of the train said he saw the truck and applied the emergency brake but could not stop in time. There were no injuries among the 55 people on the train.

Police said they have not yet determined why the truck was on the crossing at that instant.

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16 Comments
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I can understand a biker and a walker getting hit by a hybrid noiseless car as they never stop at stop signs, but trains make noises. Perhaps they had their earphones in rocking to some music, however, I do not believe that to be the case

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Police said they have not yet determined why the truck was on the crossing at that instant.

I'll tell you why! Because they don't bloody look! I nearly got cleaned up on a pedestrian crossing to day by some old couple just cruising straight through the crossing totally oblivious to myself or the other half a dozen people diving out of his way. He never slowed or even acknowledged there was s crossing, better less the people that were on it. These older drivers are dangerous! In this case, they were a danger to themselves and the 55 passengers on the train, which could very easily have derailed and resulted in many serious injuries and possible deaths from one very careless act. I'm not saying all old people are bad drivers, nor am I saying the shouldn't have the right to drive, but it is quite obvious that many do not have the motor skills or mental function to operate a vehicle safely. How many times has the 'I put my foot on the accelorator instead of the break' scenario resulted in an elderly driving their car into a convenience store? Elderly drivers need to have bi-annual driving tests to ensure the safety of other road users. These tests need to include motor skills, reflex and mental function.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Police said they have not yet determined why the truck was on the crossing at that instant.

I'll tell you why! Because they don't bloody look! I nearly got cleaned up on a pedestrian crossing to day by some old couple just cruising straight through the crossing totally oblivious to myself or the other half a dozen people diving out of his way.

Ahh, so because some completely unrelated old person almost hit you, you know exactly what happened to these people. Seems legit.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

The crossing has no gates nor an alarm to warn of approaching trains.

Welp, there's your problem...

9 ( +10 / -1 )

triumvere,

The crossing has no gates nor an alarm to warn of approaching trains.

Welp, there's your problem...

First sensible comment so far! This type of crossing simply should not exist IMO.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I agree the lack of signals or gates seems strange.

But the law says you must come to a complete stop at all level crossings. Look both ways to ensure it's safe and then proceed to cross as quickly and safely as possible.

Obviously this didn't happen - or it did and there was an element of intent involved. Personally I believe the former to be more likely - rules are for others.

Sadly.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Obviously the driver did not stop, look, or listen. Elementary school stuff there kiddos!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Damn, that'll just add to the old but silly rule to stop at train crossings even when the bars are up. Cars don't stop at green lights either. Now we will not be able to change that Damn, that'll just add to the old but silly rule to stop at train crossings even when the bars are up. Cars don't stop at green lights either. Now we will not be able that 40 something years old law agin for another 40 years. In Japan some things stuck in the past so far in the past that one wonders to be a time traveler.30 something year old law again for another 30 years. In Japan some things stuck in the past so far in the past that one wonders to be a time traveler.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Easy solution : suicide ?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

elderly in japan means 90. If that applies here then then no doubt the couple got confused when they saw the train.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Several obvious factors: No crossing bars or warning lights. Age.

Sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With all the money that Japan supposedly spends on public works and bridges to nowhere, they couldn't scrape together some yen to make sure all the railroad crossings were properly equipped? Strange....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The crossing has no gates nor an alarm to warn of approaching trains.

Welp, there's your problem...

It's not always feasible to install barriers and lights, particularly if the crossing is in the middle of nowhere (like a field) and the line in question is single track and only serviced by a couple of trains an hour.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If they are an elderly couple in the boonies, there is a chance they crossed those tracks many times. By law and taught in Japan's driving school, when approaching a railroad crossing whether there are alarms/gates or not, one must come to a complete stop and look both ways before proceeding,In driving school they even go to the point of stopping then lowering your windows to hear for train sounds though I have never seen anyone actually do that.

I am not blaming the couple but just to let you know that there are precautions in place for these types of crossings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've always felt that stopping at gated crossings (while they are open and the road ahead is clear) is pretty pointless for drivers of vehicles not at risk of grounding. Visibility down the line is generally poor, meaning that drivers in any case can't know for certain if a train is bearing down on them or not. Stopping only works if the driver has a sufficiently good view of the track, and if the driver has a sufficiently good view of the track, it shouldn't be necessary to stop.

As this particular crossing was ungated, could it simply be that the couple, having previously used the crossing on numerous occasions, simply became complacent?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The JR Nichinan line is pretty rural, at the southern tip of Japan. Many of the stations are unstaffed and are essentially sheds in some parts just a platform stop.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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