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78-year-old man, driving wrong way on expressway, crashes into car, killing driver

34 Comments

A 78-year-old man, driving his car the wrong way on an expressway, hit a light car head-on, killing the 35-year-old driver, in Nara Prefecture on Wednesday morning.

According to police, the accident occurred at around 12:40 a.m. on the Nishi-Meihan Expressway at Yamatokoriyama, Fuji TV reported.

Police said the driver of the light car, Kazunari Okita, a company employee from Yao in Osaka Prefecture, was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. The 78-year-old man, who is from Ikaruga in Nara Prefecture, sustained head injuries and was taken to hospital where doctors said his life was not in danger.

Police said they will wait until he recovers before questioning him about why he was driving the wrong way. Police said it appeared he crossed over into the oncoming lane when he passed another car.

They said he faces a charge of dangerous driving resulting in death.

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34 Comments
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Does light car = K-car with the yellow plates? I wonder what the old man was driving. And why only report on one of the cars? hmmm

12 ( +13 / -1 )

@wtfjapan?

If one car is singled out as being a kei then it means the other was not.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Only the killed man named.Why?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Lots of folks talk about the elders who drive and have caused accidents, to include loss of life, but why not make the cars safer for the elderly drivers, for example require drivers over a certain age have options added to their vehicles that warn them immediately if in the wrong lanes or excessive speed, the AI takes over the wheel. Perhaps not invented yet or in the process?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Only the killed man named.Why?

The dead don't need privacy, I guess.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

This is one of my deep-seated fears when in Japan, an elderly fellow that is no longer fit to be at the wheel and gets unintentionally involved in an accident. I second rgcivilian, the government should begin looking into reviewing the driving license of those from a senior age more frequently.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Lots of folks talk about the elders who drive and have caused accidents, to include loss of life, but why not make the cars safer for the elderly drivers, for example require drivers over a certain age have options added to their vehicles that warn them immediately if in the wrong lanes or excessive speed, the AI takes over the wheel. Perhaps not invented yet or in the process?

Yeah, because it's known that all elderly population can afford more expensive cars with their pension ...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"but why not make the cars safer "

Cars are always getting safer but it's the laws that are the problem. At some point you need to give-up your keys but if the laws are not strong enough then no matter how safe the cars are there will always be issues...

AI can't come soon enough as it's the only real solution (yet will open-up new issues too of course)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Just get them off the roads! Anyone over 70 in this country should not be driving.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

@Martin Blank

But what kind of car? A mini-van? a sedan? a sports car? ... just curious because I am due to buy a car and wondering what kind of car the old man was driving to survive a head on collision with non-life threatening injuries. It will definitely NOT be a K, at least, not for a family car that is.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How many more times does this have to happen before the government prioritizes safety over elder-vote harvesting? It's not like there's a viable opposition party to worry about.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@foreignbrotherhoodarmy

Outside of the cities people over 70 have to drive because there is often no public transport.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

But what kind of car? A mini-van? a sedan? a sports car? ... just curious because I am due to buy a car and wondering what kind of car the old man was driving to survive a head on collision with non-life threatening injuries. It will definitely NOT be a K, at least, not for a family car that is.

Of course, going on past evidence, it must be Toyota Prius.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tragic all around -- a man with little life left to live kills a man with most of his ahead of him. And what will the consequences be? Next to nothing. Courts will deem the man too old to face severe punishment, so there will be a pittance of compensation money. He'll have to live with having killed this man? Doesn't mean a thing to the man's family, especially with all the pity and support the old man will get.

Sorry, but this was preventable. Time to set a limit on age when it comes to driving.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Looks like it was a Crown or similar Toyota sedan. In a momentum battle with a kei, it's going to win.

https://www.news24.jp/nnn/news920sxpg4suffydbbjy.html

I can't remember if its the Nishi Meihan, but one of the toll roads between Nagoya and Nara is more like a bypass than a full-on expressway where the two directions are much more physically separated. Either way, the guy was a local and should have known the road and what it was like.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I do not own a car in Japan but as a personal rule of thumb when renting or using a car sharing service, never ever do I go for a K-car. Sure those things may have cutesy designs, they may fit the narrow roads nicely and be all kinds of convenient but when it comes to safety… no thank you.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Modern motor vehicle regulations are intended to prevent collision fatalities even at expressway speeds. Lightweight "kei jidosha" cars clearly cannot do this.

Keep them off the expressways ...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Throw the old man in prison for the rest of his life. No need for him in society when he is so reckless.

Rest in Peace to the poor man. His death was completely avoidable.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What is an elderly doing driving that late into the night?

He must be retired and hence should be in bed at his home, especially during a pandemic.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It has nothing to do with age and everything to do with attention. Accidents occur when people are not paying attention.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

> kohakuebisuToday  05:57 pm JST

Looks like it was a Crown or similar Toyota sedan. In a momentum battle with a kei, it's going to win.

https://www.news24.jp/nnn/news920sxpg4suffydbbjy.html

I can't remember if its the Nishi Meihan, but one of the toll roads between Nagoya and Nara is more like a bypass than a full-on expressway where the two directions are much more physically separated. Either way, the guy was a local and should have known the road and what it was like.

Looking at that video, the damage to the kei-van wasn't that extensive. The engine compartment was crushed, yes, but the passenger compartment looked relatively unscathed. I'm wondering if the victim was buckled in properly? Either way, the blame lies with the 78 year old.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Scary, I often take the Nishi-Meihan and get off at Yamato Koriyama IC. I have seen an old person driving the wrong way on the Nishi Meihan a few times actually as there are exits without toll gates so a car can easily go the wrong way without being stopped.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

K-cars are death traps. Time and time again it is proven. For city driving they’re fine but for highway or express way absolutely not. They have 0 crumple zones.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is a sad story. I'd like to know more about why the older driver was driving the wrong way and how he got onto th expressway going the wrong way. Also, way drinking or other impairment involved? Age by itself is not likely the only cause of this accident. And, there are probably things that could have helped prevent it, like WRONG WAY signs or BUZZ BARS on the entrance ramps. Older drivers need to be responsible too. For example if they feel they can't see well at night or might be making mistakes, they should avoid driving or turn in their license, It will eventually happen to all of us. The police should be especially thankful to those who voluntarily turn in their license. It took courage for my father to do it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Looks like it was a Crown

I think I've only seen old men driving Crowns. They're like Japanese Cadillacs.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Terrible. I also hope they confirm how he got on the wrong way because some entranceways in Japan are confusing especially at night.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Leave the old guys alone !

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I got a second hand Mercedes, pretty cheep. It's a tank "I pity the fool who hits me" safety first. Trust nobody on the road, you can be doing everything you can and be suprised by a 70yo a 20yo at anytime. My door alone must be half the weight of a K.car.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Before everyone really starts in with it, let's not forget that in Japan he's still a young fella.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bjorn Tomention

yes, sure

till one of them will be the reason why your precious family member is not alive because of those old folks.

Let's be honest here. some 78 are capable and some are not. Same goes for 20's, 30's etc. but I think the rules should be changed for old folks up 65. With driving tests and medical checks every 6months.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Anyone over 70 in this country should not be driving.

70? More like 60, in my opinion. They should also ban kei cars from expressways.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No need to question him, I already know what he'll say. I don't remember anything. always the same lame excuse.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Expressway :

How does one get onto an Expressway the “wrong way”?

What a scary story.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I owned a kei car for 1 yer and shifted to Audi Sedan. it feels safer. but still i want a kei though for a cheap maintenance.

The Kei car doesnt look like its totally crushed in the front. maybe the driver forget to fasten seatbelt?

anyway the Crown Sedan is the criminal. i watched lot of videos in youtube about 逆走. its really terrifying

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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