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Woman dies after car plummets from rooftop car park

25 Comments

A 67-year-old woman died after her car went off a rooftop car park in Fuchu, Tokyo, on Sunday.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 3:50 a.m. on the roof of a wholesale market. TV Asahi quoted police as saying the woman, identified as Noriko Otaki, most likely pressed the accelerator instead of the brake and crashed through a barrier.

The car fell about eight meters. Otaki was flung from the car on impact, police said. She was taken to hospital with severe head injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police said Otaki operated a ramen restaurant at the market and usually parked her car on the rooftop.

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25 Comments
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most likely pressed the accelerator instead of the brake and crashed through a barrier.

I guessed this before I even read the story....so sad

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Good job, Mirai. I thought maybe Magneto had tossed her car off the parking garage. Or maybe she drove through a portal.

I'm curious as to how she was flung from the vehicle. Did I miss something about a seat belt or lack thereof?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

RIP. Perhaps fewer of these tragic accidents would happen if people drove manual transmission cars.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Good job, Dan. I thought maybe Magneto unbuckled her seatbelt and opened her door for her. Or maybe he removed her windshield.

A car falling 8 meters would be a very hard impact. Maybe the door popped open or she was thrown forward through the windshield. It's hard to tell exactly without more details.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

i can't even imagine how... dang!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shouldn't "barriers" protect against this? RIP

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At that time of the night, she was probably asleep at the wheel.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Here we go again.... I have always thought that automatic transmissions are dangerous precisely for this reason. It is ergonomic thing.... iin a car with manual transmission, this can never happen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If she made a driver error could happen in any kind of car surely.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Wakmasen:

My point is that this type of accident can not happen with a manual car. Check the news... inevitable the ojisans who panicked and pushed the accelerator were driving automatic cars.

It is physiologically very difficult to take your foot back and find another pedal to press when you are in a panic situation.What people do is instinctively press down with both feet. Now, in a manual car, whatever combination of the 3 pedals you press, the car will never speed out of control. But that is precisely what happens in an automatic car.

It is a design that looks convenient, but is very dangerous for human drivers. With manual cars, you never hear about these "mistook the accelerator for brake" incidents --- because they never happen.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I don't mean to sound cruel but "she sure was in hurry to make that bento"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" Darwin Award Winner " #2 for THIS week.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

check the news... inevitable the ojisans who panicked and pushed the accelerator were driving automatic cars.

Most people drive automatic cars in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nessie:

" Most people drive automatic cars in Japan. "

...and that is why there are so many of these "sudden acceleration" accidents in Japan. You never read about these incidents in areas like Northern Europe, where almost everybody prefers manual shift cars.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My first thought was that it was wrong gear selection while parking, and then wrong pedal from the panic of unexpected movement. That's also possible with a manual drive, but usually with less severe consequences, the first panic reaction being to depress the clutch.

Out of interest, does anyone know what percentage of automatic drivers use both feet to operate pedals? I'd guess people who started off with a manual would continue to use a single foot for gas and brake, just out of habit. But how about those who have only used an automatic?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Manual transmission vs automatic transmission. Who cares? She went over the roof and now she is dead. End of story.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

albaleo:

" But how about those who have only used an automatic? "

I understand you are taught to use only one foot for automatic. The other foot does nothing... which is precisely the reason that these accidents happen. The (typically old) driver panics, and in that situation you press down. It is a natural reaction, and it is the reason we have this sort of accident all the time here. Scary.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

RIP. Perhaps fewer of these tragic accidents would happen if people drove manual transmission

Yeah but how can we shift, hold the steering wheel and type on our phones all at the sme time?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow my girlfriend was in almost same accident in Okinawa couple months ago but she didn't accelerate she was trying to park car on 3rd floor of parking garage when a speeding truck hit her knocking her through the guardrail luckily she was wearing seatbelt but still broke her leg wrist ribs and jaw I feel bad for old lady can't understand how you can mistake gas for brake ones vertical other horizontal

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is tragic but I don't understand why people don't start the car by gently pressing on the accelerator/brakes and manoeuvring slowly especially in a parking area...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

japan today is so racist against free speech. just like the younger policemen today who are constantly harassing people everywhere that they forgot who pays their salaries.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seatbelts SAVE lives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Willib. I beg to differ. I know of cases where accidents have happened with manuals. First, it says that she likely pressed the accelerator by mistake...likely. It's also possible, depending where her car was, that she was tired or in a hurry, thought she had car in reverse and took off quickly but the car was in drive. Most mornings when I get in the car I put it in reverse no matter how I'm parked...habit. I do the same when I drive a manual. However, I take off slowly. Many, many years ago a similar thing happened to my sister but she was lucky. She was in a manual car, dropped off her husband at the train station, was in a hurry to get to work and took off quickly from the car park. She thought the car was in reverse but it wasn't and the car went off an embankment onto the railway tracks. She said out of habit she put it into second! Also, I had an accident with an old lady who was driving a manual. She panicked put her foot on the clutch to change down gears and brake but didn't take her foot off the clutch or accelerator and ploughed into me. I would assume that people who drive a manual only use their left foot to change gears and nothing else. Another problem could be a sticky accelerator, especially with the cold weather. We have an old Sunny which I sometimes drive. I'm aware of its problem but when it does unstick the car surges forward. Anyway, it's a tragic story and I think it could happen in any car. WilliB I hope you have a safe and wonderful 2015:)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You never read about these incidents in areas like Northern Europe, where almost everybody prefers manual shift cars.

You would have a point if we were in Northern Europe. I doubt Northern Europeans hear about Japanese mis-pedal accidents, either. Not really international news-worthy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It doesn't matter if the car had manual or automatic transmission. If there was a strict building code with steel reinforced concrete walls, the wall can absorb any impact from the cars, and still be safe. Problem is the building code in Tokyo, not the car.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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