TOKYO (TR) – Weekly tabloid Friday (Sept. 28) has obtained a video showing Hitomi Yoshizawa, a former member of all-girl idol group Morning Musume, driving a vehicle that struck two persons prior to her arrest for drunk driving earlier this month.
At around 7:00 a.m. on September 6, a vehicle driven by Yoshizawa, 33, ignored a red light at an intersection and struck a woman pedaling a bicycle near JR Higashi-Nakano Station in Nakano Ward, causing her to fall. The woman then collided with a male pedestrian.
In the clip, taken from an onboard camera of another vehicle stopped nearby, the white van driven by Yoshizawa is shown barreling through the intersection and striking the pair as they start to cross the street. The impact knocked both persons to the curb.
After the van continues past the crash site, both the woman and the man get up from the pavement. However, the other pedestrians at the crosswalk continue across the road without helping them.
Neither of the victims suffered serious injuries, police previously said.
“Everyday thing for her”
Police later arrested Yoshizawa on suspicion of drunk driving. “In speaking with officers after the incident, Yoshizawa did not show any signs of remorse,” a reporter covering the police beat tells Friday. “Because of that, it seems as if drunk driving was an everyday thing for her.”
As previously reported, Yoshizawa admitted to drinking three cans of chuhai, which is a cocktail composed of the distilled spirit shochu, during initial questioning. However, she later acknowledged during further questioning that her consumption of alcohol was more than she initially stated. “I also drank other alcohol in addition to the cans of chu-hai,” she was quoted.
As is shown in the video, Yoshizawa fled after the collision. The aforementioned reporter adds that the clip contradicts a previous claim by Yoshizawa, who said, “I couldn’t stop due to all the vehicles [on the road], causing me to lose my mind,” she said. According to the magazine, she was to attend an event in Nerima Ward later that morning.
Four times the legal limit
About 15 minutes after the incident, Yoshizawa telephoned police to report hitting the bicyclist and returned to the scene. In addition to drunk driving, police accused her of dangerous driving and hit-and-run resulting in injury. Upon her arrest, she admitted to the allegations.
A breath analysis conducted on Yoshizawa revealed 0.58 milligrams of alcohol per liter of exhaled air. The legal limit is 0.15 milligrams, meaning the former idol exceeded the figure by nearly four times, police sad.
The incident is not the first traffic-related problem for Yoshizawa. In September of last year, the idol was involved in an accident in which was driving on the wrong side of the road. In that case, a man in his 20s suffered light injuries.