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Yokohama trucker hits students; 1 dead, 8 hurt

A truck driver hit a group of students in Yokohama (Nippon News Network)
A truck driver hit a group of students in Yokohama (Nippon News Network)

KANAGAWA (TR) – Police arrested a truck driver in Yokohama on Friday for hitting a car before veering into a group of young students, killing a 6-year-old and injuring 11 others.

Masashi Goda, 87, was arrested on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death and injury for allegedly crashing into a car in front of him with his truck before veering into nine students walking in a line and killing one of them, 6-year-old Tashiro Yu, at around 8 a.m. in Konan Ward, Nippon News Network reports (Oct. 28).

Goda has admitted to the charges, quoted by police as saying “I collided with the children,” TV Asahi reported.

Yu, a first grader, died from skull fracture, police said, adding that Goda was conscious at the wheel and had passed his license renewal exam three years ago without any issues.

In the group of students ranging from first to fifth graders, two are in intensive care after suffering heavy injuries and the rest had light injuries.

Security camera footage showed Goda driving his white truck at high speed. Another camera showed the students walking in a single-file line as the truck blazed down the road and struck them. Police identified Yu as the second student in the video.

Road reported as dangerous

Goda collided with a car that stopped behind a bus at a bus stop before his truck flipped and struck the students, TBS News quoted police as saying.

The traffic division of the city of Yokohama had previously been told by concerned citizens that the road where the crash occurred was “dangerous.”

The area where the incident occurred has “no wide roads, forcing [buses] into narrow roads which means these roads are in a dangerous state for everyday life,” according to the Yokohama traffic bureau’s official website.

A person in the neighborhood told TBS News that the incident site was “dangerous in the first place. There’s lots of traffic there, too.”

Noriko Takashima, the principal of Yu’s elementary school, said Yu was “a super-bright, energetic and kind child” at a press conference on Friday.

“I heard his fellow first graders crying,” Takashima said.