Two elderly people dead after car plows into supermarket


Two elderly people died when the car they were in crashed into the front pillar of a supermarket in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Wednesday afternoon.

The accident happened at Valor Aritama supermarket in Higashi Ward at about 3:15 p.m., Fuji TV reported. Police said that Seiho Kimura, 80, was driving, and his wife Kin, 76, was in the front passenger seat. Both suffered severe head injuries and were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead. Nobody in the store was injured.

Police believe that Kimura mistakenly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake as he drove into the supermarket parking lot, Fuji reported.

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RIP. Please wear your seat belts peeps.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This type of accident is all too common in this country, press the gas instead of the brake.

Actual physical driving test should be taken when renewing licence for those over 70, and also other type hand/foot eye, reflex/reaction coordination tests should be used to see if the person is able to handle a car. Would save a few lives each year for sure.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I would say that any drivers over the age of 70 should be required to renew their licenses every year. Its a public safety concern.

I sometimes ride in taxi's with 70+ drivers and frankly they frighten me. Case in point, an elderly taxi driver made a wrong turn and drove onto some train tracks a couple of months ago. I think the train was able to stop in time, but can you imagine if you were the passenger??! Renewal requirement for 70+ drivers...MUST be done.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They already have the automatic parking system for cars. why dont we have an auto stopping system.

also no airbags in the cars? what kind of car was it.

Maybe we should also start making senior parking areas. That are designed to be safer incase of situations like this. I dont know, it just feels like this is something that is preventable with todays technology.

Its very sad to read these stories.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Sorry, but it's getting harder and harder to justify allowing people over 75 to keep their license -- you hear about the gas/break pedal mistake and subsequent crashing through store front nearly once a week now. Remember the incident in Hokkaido where the heroic dog saved the old man and his granddaughter? yep, 80+ driver went off the ramp. Last month when the driver went through the convenience store front? yep, 80+ driver who mistook the gas pedal for the break. The guy who drove on the wrong side of the Akashi bridge expressway? yep, old man who said he was just enjoying the sunny weather and didn't notice the error.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of young punks who get into accidents because they are texting, or speeding, or trying to make the light, or ignoring the light, or are drunk, etc. but they are breaking the laws... the difference is that the old people are literally confused and make mistakes as such, and should not be behind the wheel of something that can kill. I'm sorry these two died as a result, but am also glad no one in the shop was hurt. It sounds like the people in the car were also not wearing seatbelts, based on their injuries. RIP.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Seat belts save lives! If these two were wearing they definitely would still be alive!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sorry, but it's getting harder and harder to justify allowing people over 75 to keep their license

Why have a blanket rule like that? Some over 75-year-olds can still drive safely. Just introduce a driving/eye test every 2 years after 70. It's a moot point anyway because as the politicians in many countries know the wrinklies make up the largest percentage of voters. Look at "grey power" in the U.S. for example. They have the same problems with elderly drivers, but senior citizens created an uproar when it was suggested the over70s take another driving test.

-1 ( +1 / -3 )

Did it say what model of car it was. In the states a lot of elderly people crashed into their own garage in their Hybrid car because they didn't realize the car was in gear since they could not hear or feel the engine running.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Taxi drivers in NY use left foot for brake, and right foot for accelerator. I wonder if this driving strategy would save lives here for the elderly and unfortunate victims.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

...and they ALWAYS keep their left foot lightly on the brake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is very sad, but on the one positive side, luckily they did not hurt or kill anybody else, also makes me wonder about seat belts, I am sure they had them but I guess they could not be bothered to wear them??

0 ( +2 / -2 )

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People worried about the "danger" of older drivers would be better off focussing their attention on young male drivers - car crashes are a major cause of death in this group. I'd support retesting for all drivers, but of course most people would never accept that - it's only "other" drivers who are a problem...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sad story indeed.

Considering the fact that this occurred as they were pulling into the parking lot, they may have prematurely taken their seat belts off? I do that often (especially if I'm in a rush). Not a good habit I guess.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Test them again at 70 and every two years after. Thing is, they'd prob put up a huge fuss and it wouldn't be passed. Yes, younger drivers also cause accidents but they pay more for insurance. Perhaps the rates need to be raised for the elderly?!

As for the ny taxi comment, how do they drive a manual?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ExportExpertFeb. 09, 2012 - 11:09AM JST

This type of accident is all too common in this country, press the gas instead of the brake.

Not unique to Japan. Google 'mistakes gas pedal for brake' (on American google) and see all the stories that come up. Not to mention most Americans don't want to admit making such a simple mistake (gas pedal for brake) and blame the car so it goes unreported as a gas/brake pedal mistake.... 'OMG! It suddenly accelerated!' ...but that's another can of worms.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

With all the reports on these types of accidents by the elderly, I always wonder how many accidents there are by mistaking the brakes for the accelorator, if any.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I remember over a decade ago in Australia a young woman turning at an intersection who similarly pressed the accelerator instead of the brake and ploughed through pedestrians crossing the road. If memory serves, two pedestrians died. So this kind of thing is not necessarily age related. Message: Focus on your driving.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you walk is dangerous because somebody can run you over. And if you drive, you yourself can lose control and kill somebody. Call a taxi or shop on-line. Stop overage or senile driving!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

seat belts seat belts

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People over 60 should be required to have annual driving suitability tests.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"CRASHED INTO THE FRONT OF A SUPERMARKET" - didn't have to read another word. I could tell from that one sentence that the driver was over 70, with a heavy foot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

New drivers getting confused is not strange because they are still gaining experience. Normally, they get better as they drive more. Elderly get confused because they are slowly losing their mind and/or body. It's a fact of life. So far, no one is immune from this.

I agree with a few others that people over a certain age should be tested more often since they will simple not be able to cope with confusing situations and/or even more simple situations. Re-testing younger people is just a waste of time and money as someone else pointed out they are knowingly breaking the law.

I think it's sad that these two died sooner than they had to. I'm sure they still had a lot to contribute to their families. It would be a waste if no one learns from this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many people in this country can't/won't even use an indicator lever, so is it really a surprise when this kind of thing happens?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Humm, suicide?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Same sh!t different day. When is Japan going to take measures to stop this kinda of stuff from happening. Yes they should test a 70 year old every year to check for hand eye coordination. Lazy ass politicians. Starting to get really sick of seeing these things on the news. RIP

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan does test over 70 year old drivers and the license is good for four years and I believe another test is required then. Check it out with the DMV here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lawrence Nitz, a political scientist from the University of Hawaii, conducted a three-year study of Hawaiian traffic records and found that drivers over 75 were far more likely than other motorists to be cited for certain offenses, including failing to yield to pedestrians, backing up unsafely and failing to stop at a flashing red light.

0 ( +0 / -1 )

When is Japan going to take measures to stop this kinda of stuff from happening.

I can guarantee you that Japan does as much as any other country in this matter. In most American states, for example, over 70s actually have to commit an accident before being re-tested! As a matter of fact, statistically the two safest countries in the world to drive are Japan and the U.K. In the U.S., you are 3.5 times more likely to have a fatal accident than in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -1 )

Wouldn't it be simple to control acceleration with a lever on the steering wheel, so the only things for your feet would be lights, clutch, brake? I agree that all new cars should be required to have automatic braking.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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