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Mother, son killed after their car hit by police car

31 Comments

A 34-year-old woman and her 5-year-old son were killed after their car was hit by a police patrol car at an intersection in Tamba, Hyogo Prefecture, on Sunday.

According to police, the accident occurred at an intersection at around 12:30 p.m. Fuji TV reported that the intersection has traffic lights. The 39-year-old police officer driving the patrol car was quoted as saying the light was green as he passed through the intersection and that he hit the car coming from his left.

The impact sent the other car onto its side and into a pole. The driver of the car, Asami Yura, and her son Kanta were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead. A 3-year-old boy, believed to be the woman's younger son, suffered injuries but his condition is not life-threatening, police said.

The police officer was uninjured.

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31 Comments
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Pretty tragic incident. It seems the woman may have run the light but further investigation is necessary. Hopefully, some cameras may have caught the accident. RIP.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And of course the police officer is completely unbiased here about the light being green? I'd like some corroborating witnesses or dashboard cam footage please. This officer is facing murder charges if that light was red and simply asking him if it was green and closing the case smacks of a cover-up.

-15 ( +8 / -23 )

Japan needs to make K cars safer, they are just a tin can on wheels.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

...saying the light was green

Bull.

What esle is to be expected from a single, unattentive copper? Could we expect he tell the truth? Even if the lady was running a red light, I hold the police to HIGHER standards than just blasting through an intersection without being extra attentive. If he sees someone not slowing down, wouldn't it make sense to slow down yourself?

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

What esle is to be expected from a single, unattentive copper? Could we expect he tell the truth?

How horrible it is that you assume this person is lying without knowing a single thing about the situation other than what's written in a few sentences here.

12 ( +17 / -4 )

Knox Harrington, seems like you have something against cops. Being raised in America will do that and I get it (as I was too). You shouldn't jump to conclusions before you are able to see all the facts. It's tragic but accidents do happen. And I see people speed through yellows and reds all the time no matter the country. And no matter who is at fault, it won't bring back that little 3 year old's mother and brother.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sad for all concerned. It would be nice to have more information about were the mother and child wearing seat belts? Because I see so many mothers driving distracted by kids not restrained and dogs on shoulders, laps, steering wheels, dashboards, and dash boards cluttered with soft toys.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I got in a wreck EXACTLY like this 9 days ago. Don't blame the cop. I was going through a light, albeit yellow, and this idiot just turned right in front of me. I didnt even have time to break or swerve, I t-boned him. He admited it was his fault. I bet you hard cash the child who died didnt have his seat belt on.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

gogogo

Japan needs to make K cars safer, they are just a tin can on wheels.

The police car was a kei car (driver uninjured) and the woman's car was a full sized van (two dead). You have it backwards.

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/jiken/201404/p1_0006860989.shtml

13 ( +14 / -1 )

dashboard cam footage please

In Japan?! Good luck with that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This officer is facing murder charges if that light was red

No. Look up "murder" in the dictionary.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

I have often thought about this kind of scenario. Unless there are cameras on intersections, there appears to be no way to determine who is telling the truth after an accident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I bet you hard cash the child who died didnt have his seat belt on.

Spot on. Virtually guaranteed to be the case.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I bet you hard cash the child who died didnt have his seat belt on.

Spot on. Virtually guaranteed to be the case.

There is nothing in the article to indicate that this was the case.

The armchair detectives are out in full force again today.

4 ( +6 / -1 )

USNinJapan2: Ah thanks, I read the article wrong but how do two people die hitting a pole? Seatbelts?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A lot driving trough red after the light turns from orange to red, i am inclined to believe the cop, the only thing i blame the cop of that he may have driven to fast.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Frungy -

And of course the police officer is completely unbiased here about the light being green? I'd like some corroborating witnesses or dashboard cam footage please

other news articles say that there were multiple witnesses that said the woman's car came when the light was red - this supports the police officer's statement.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

gogogo

Did you look at the accident photos in the linked article? The van overturned after struck by the police car and it slid sideways into a light pole that basically crushed the entire driver and passenger seat section. Seat belts or airbags would have useless in preventing these deaths because vehicles just aren't designed to withstand unusual impacts like this one. There's no info on where the five year-old that died was seated but I'm assuming that since he didn't survive he was sitting shotgun (with or without a seat belt) or was in the back seat not buckled up. This is why young children (<6-7) for whom seat belts and airbags are less effective should only sit in the back seat without exception. And don't get me started on parents who install child seats or baby carriers in the front passenger seat. Absolutely insane.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't J cops have those video cameras that are standard in taxis and American cop cars? With all the technology these days it would be easy to have a camera that records the past 30 minutes in a loop in high definition. Of course, with a video camera present, one would not be able to prevaricate about the colour of traffic lights, or for that matter, the use of torture in interrogations. The videoing of interrogations started in 2008 and was almost total, apart from those suspects who refused to be videoed, n 2012. Recently they have started videoing the suspects refusal.

It does not look like J Cop cars do have video cameras, judging by this video, but then perhaps it depends on the car. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK-Ahcm1krg

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

She could have run a Red light.... this doe not have to be a case where the Cop is at fault.... it very well could have been hers.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

USNinJapan2-

This is why young children (<6-7) for whom seat belts and airbags are less effective should only sit in the back seat without exception

this is why I even make my teenager (13 year old) sit in the back seat (unless there are more than 3 kids sitting in the back). I don't 100% trust seat belt and whether buckled up or not, it's usually a lot safer in the back seat.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

timtak

How many Japanese police cars have you seen speeding, driving recklessly, or ignoring/breaking traffic rules? Me? Never have. They're always cruising around well below the speed limit and following every traffic rule to a degree that irritates the hell out of me when I'm stuck behind them. Now, how many Japanese mothers with little kids have you seen driving like they just got their drivers license yesterday? Exactly. I'm with you if you're suspicious of the Japanese police when it comes to their MO when investigating and interrogating criminals, but assuming that the police officer is lying off the bat about the traffic light being green? Come on now.

8 ( +7 / -0 )

Many posters here seem to be too focused on the fact that a police car was involved. The real issue is that one of the drivers has broken a traffic law, resulting in deaths, but there is no way to prove who it was. This is a serious flaw in in the system.

In a country as technoligically advanced as Japan, why aren't there red light cameras at intersections? I see cars going through red lights every day!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Absolute tragedy, Rest in Peace poor Mum and child. Agree totally with Bogi - I see so many people here running reds it scares the heck out of me. Red-light cameras EVERYWHERE - and a 30,000 yen fine per offence, posted direct to the offender - would almost certainly stop most cars running red. Not that I'm assuming the mother definitely did, however.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

My sincere condolences and prayers for the mom and son.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I accidentally killed two people, I hope my story sticks"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With a 5 year old and 3 year old, the woman may have been distracted by one of them. I saw the news footage and it did happen in a very open area in the rice fields with clear views of traffic from all directions. I don't know the situation, but would think that the police car would be able to notice the car not slowing down. In Tokyo the police usually drive around at 10-20km below the speed limit so surprised that this type of accident would happen. Rest in peace...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The police car will for sure have dash board cam.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I see drivers going through red lights every day here, they know how long the delay is before the other traffic gets a green light. In fact I asked a few people here, what does the amber (yellow) light mean? You'd be surprised how many will reply "accelerate to beat the red light".

Difficult to say what happened here, maybe distracted by the kids, sad all the same.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ strangerland et al - We know it doesn't say anything about the use of child restraints in this specific incident. They (and I) are making their statement based on observations over time. 9 times out of 10, when I've seen children in moving vehicles, they are not using seat belts or car seats. Often they are standing or hanging out of the window.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

USNinJapan2 I agree with you entirely with regard to the way in which the Japanese police drive, but like Bogi says, technology exists such as to dispel doubt (as many posters above seem to have).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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